Shingle tops Oz B.O.

SYDNEY — Australia’s Roadshow Films topped the domestic box office in 2002, ahead of the five Hollywood studios, with 21% of the total $A845 million ($497 million).

Shingle returned $105 million, propelled by acquisitions “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” ($14 million) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” ($19 million) and Village Roadshow Prods.’ “Ocean’s Eleven” ($13 million).

Village Roadshow CEO Graham Burke told Daily Variety, “The stars were aligned, we had the right pictures and above all worked hard selling tickets.”

Twentieth Century Fox Australia was second, earning $75 million — mostly due to its distribution of Australia’s highest-grossing film in 2002, LucasFilms’ “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,” which returned $19.9 million.

UIP, the distribution shingle for DreamWorks and U, came in third by a whisker with $74.5 million. “A Beautiful Mind” was its top earner at $11.6 million.

Columbia TriStar Australia was ahead of the pack during the first half of the year but fell back into fourth spot in the second half. “Spider-Man” netted $18.1 million to boost earnings to $73.5 million.

BVI didn’t have a movie in the top 10 and returned $68 million, its quietest year in some time.

Warners, which is distributed by Roadshow in Oz, earned $34 million, much of its from the two “Harry Potter” films.

The indies grossed $50 million between them¬†–¬†buoyed by Icon’s outstanding $8 million return on “Bend It Like Beckham.”

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