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Wilderpeople goes wild at weekend

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

Taika Waititi's latest cinematic offering, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, has broken the local record for an opening weekend by a New Zealand film, hauling in $1.3 million.

The comedy, based on Barry Crump's novel and with taxpayer backing, has hit the ground running following its nationwide release Thursday, grossing more than the previous opening record held by Once Were Warriors sequel, 1999's What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, its promoters say.

It also beat the opening box office of $600,000 by 2010's Boy, also directed by Waititi. Boy went on to become the highest grossing local movie at home, with $9.2m.

"Which made me kind of sad. But then I got over it really quick and now I'm stoked," Waititi said in a statement.

Wilderpeople also took the record for the single highest grossing day for a New Zealand film, taking more than $528,000 on Saturday.

"We've had reports of cinemas sold out across the country, theatres full of applause and people seeing the film three or fours times already," co-distributors from Piki Films, Carthew Neal and Leanne Saunders say.

According to Box Office Mojo, the highest grossing weekend opening for any movie in New Zealand was $3m last year for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Warner Bros' The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, filmed in New Zealand, took $2.4m in its opening weekend.

A scene from Hunt for the Wilderpeople © A scene from Hunt for the Wilderpeople
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