The big-screen adaptation of Tim Winton’s short-story collection The Turning has passed the $1 million mark at the Australian box office.
Though far from record-breaking the total is significant because of the nature of the film and the unusual distribution of it.
A three-hour portmanteau with 17 directors (18, including the sand animation opening title sequence, directed by Marieka Walsh), Tim Winton’s The Turning began its exhibition life at festivals and one-off screenings with guest appearances by cast members and directors.
Five weeks ago it began its season proper, opening on 16 screens around the country. It has played in a total of 48 venues, but never on more than 34 screens at one time. As of Sunday, it was on 20 screens.
The distribution by Madman and director-producer Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia has focused on the idea of the film as an event, with the screening broken by an interval and accompanied by a 40-page colour program (a very useful aid to deciphering the fact some characters reappear in different segments, played by different actors and out of chronological order). At $25, tickets retail at a significant premium to the norm.
“To reach such a milestone is an incredibly rewarding feeling,” says Connolly. “The great thing about this unique project is that it will now go on to exist in a variety of shapes and forms across a number of different platforms.”