Australian comedy The Wog Boy has grossed a highly impressive A$1.2m from just three days of preview screenings (Feb 18-20), which would have placed it at number three in the chart had it been included. Previews are traditionally excluded from box office charts.
Only two films performed better than this unusual local film: UIP's critically acclaimed The Green Mile (pictured) and American Beauty, which are in their second and fourth weeks on release respectively.
Playing on 180 screens The Wog Boy earned twice as much box office revenue and recorded double the screen average of REP's Man On The Moon, which ended up in fourth position.
Managing director of 20th Century Fox Robert Slaviero says the result is the best for an Australian film on previews in history - obviously this partly reflects how widely the film was screened. He is especially pleased with the result given the bad press in recent months about the performance of domestic films at the box office. Slaviero believes it is "achievable" that the final gross could be between A$8 and A$10m.
The Wog Boy couldn't be more different to the quality Academy Award nominees currently screening in Australia, which makes it a real alternative for cinemagoers. However, one of the biggest factors behind its success is the fan-base already built up for lead actor Nick Giannopoulos. He is very well known for his stage and television performances, which also unashamedly parody his own Greek migrant experience. Giannopoulos is also credited with producing the film with John Brousek, co-writing in collaboration with Chris Anastassiades and financing it in conjunction with the Australian Film Finance Corporation and state government agency Cinemedia. Aleksi Vellis directed.
The film's world premiere took place on February 9 in Melbourne and officially opens wide on February 24 on nearly 200 screens.