At the same time as Australia's Macquarie Film Corp. was celebrating the successful weekend opening of its first backed film Dirty Deeds; it was also announcing the eighth and final film to be backed under its current scheme: The Wannabes.

Dirty Deeds, the first film to benefit from Macquarie's interest in feature film investment and the first local film to be distributed by Hoyts since it returned to distribution, recorded the ninth biggest opening weekend for an Australian film, grossing $702,000 (A$1.27m) from 183 screens for the four days ending on July 21

Meanwhile, the Macquarie Film Corporation is funding the last of eight films under the government-backed FLICs tax scheme, providing about half of the budget for The Wannabes, the new project by comedian Nick Giannopoulos.

Giannopoulos' last film, The Wog Boy grossed nearly $6.4m (A$11.5m) in 2000 for 20th Century Fox, the twelfth biggest performance by an Australian film in the local market.

The Wannabes has been written by Giannopoulos and Chris Anastassiades, the same pair that wrote The Wog Boy, with Giannopoulos set to direct as well as producing alongside Tom Burstall, who was Melbourne representative of the First Australian Completion Bond Company until recently. It will be made under Giannopoulos's production company GO Films. Macquarie's Jennie Hughes and Melbourne lawyer Roger Rothfield are the other two executive producers. A local distributor and an international sales agent is yet to be signed.

It is the eighth film to dip into the $9m (A$16.257m) raised by Macquarie Bank under a government-sanctioned pilot scheme aimed at boosting film and television production through assistance from private investors. Whether this scheme continues is yet to be decided.

The other seven films invested in by Macquarie Bank were: Dirty Deeds, Danny, Crackerjack, Horseplay, Bad Eggs, The Nugget and Takeaway.

Macquarie and the Nine Network raised $13.2m (A$23.6m) for production last month under a separate arrangement.