Baz Luhrmann's compatriots have voted Moulin Rouge the best of his films - with their wallets. In its seventh week on release in Australia it has overtaken his debut Strictly Ballroom to become the fourth biggest local film ever, with a domestic gross of $11.3m (A$22.4m).
Strictly Ballroom grossed $8.11m (A$21.76m) in 1992 for local distributor Ronin Films. As at end of Sunday July 8, Moulin Rouge had taken $11.4m (A$22,388,694). It opened on May 24 and remains on about 250 screens. Helped by word of mouth and school holidays, it continues to do strong business.
The expectation is that Moulin Rouge will exceed the business done by Crocodile Dundee II, which grossed $12.7m (A$24.92m), and take the crown of the third biggest local film ever. Only 14 films of any nationality - including two homegrown pictures, the original Crocodile Dundee and Babe - have ever made more than $12.8m (A$25m) in the Australian market. William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet took $8.1m (A$15.89m) for 20th Century Fox back in 1996/97.