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Cash, critters fuel B.O. down under

'Ice Age 2,' 'Walk the Line' rule Aussie box office

SYDNEY — Fox is the market share leader Down Under thanks to boffo B.O. from “Walk the Line” and “Ice Age 2” and strong perfs from “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and “Big Momma’s House 2.”

Nielsen EDI figures to May 11 show the studio has a 23% market share so far this year, having grossed A$67 million ($52 million). That’s a full $12 million ahead of second-place Roadshow and UIP, which have each earned about $40 million.

Of the indie distribs, Becker/Dendy has cumed $6 million from 15 niche releases. That boffo result puts it ahead of Icon, Hopscotch, Hoyts and Palace in a crowded market of midsized shingles now competing in Oz.

Becker/Dendy joint general manager Richard Payten said strong acquisitions and canny marketing had driven his shingle’s success. “Our acquisitions are primarily titles that cross over and play beyond the traditional arthouse cinema circuit,” he said.

This year’s top grossers for Becker/Dendy are “The World’s Fastest Indian,” Mira Nair’s “Water” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

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