Local drama Three Dollarsmade a big impact at the Australian box office over the weekend.

Three Dollars grossed $177,000 (A$227,747) fromjust 15 screens over the five-day holiday weekend. The Dendy/Footprint releasewas fourteenth in the chart but it was its screen average of $11,800 thatreally impressed - and has paved the way for more screens to be added in comingweeks.

Downfall, its major competitor in boutique cinemas, had ascreen average of $10,200 from 22 screens.

Three Dollars stars David Wenham, Frances O'Connor and SarahWynter, and is a repeat collaboration for director Robert Connolly and producerJohn Maynard, who are partners in Arenafilm. It is based on the Elliot Perlmannovel of the same name and, like their first film The Bank, it has undertonesof social justice.

It will get its first internationalouting at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is being handled by Becker FilmsInternational, a sister company to Dendy.

"Despite the fine weather andstrong competition, Three Dollars has been embraced whole heartedly,"said Maynard in a statement. "It looks like it has finally broken the back ofthe product drought in the quality market."

In contrast, anotherAustralian film - The Extra - was released over the weekend. TheExtra grossed $332,000 for Hoyts - but from nearly ten times more screens(144). It came tenth in the charts and its screen average was $2,300.

The Extra was directed by Kevin Carlin and stars television andclub comedian Jimeoin in his follow up to the 1998 picture The Craic. Ittoo will be at Cannes, where it will be handled by Lightning Entertainment.

For Australian box office chart, click here