Australia gives ‘Red Dog’ the biggest local opening of the year

Red Dog

Despite a noticeable absence of musical numbers, gangland shootings or incestuous narratives, Kriv Stenders’ Red Dog has nuzzled its way into the biggest opening weekend of the year for an Australian film, with a $1.8 million juicy bone to chew on across 244 cinemas.

Adapted from the Louis De Bernières novel of the same name, Red Dog’s story was first told in a collection of short stories compiled by Nancy Gillespie, documenting the accounts of the residents of the Pilbara. The story was later told by Nancy Gillespie in her book Red Dog: the Pilbara wanderer. The only truly surprising thing about this remarkable tale is that it is only now making its way to the big screen.

Starring Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor and an ensemble cast including Luke Ford (Animal Kingdom), Arthur Angel, John Batchelor, Rohan Nichol, Noah Taylor (Submarine), Loene Carmen and Keisha Castle-Hughes, Red Dog had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, won the Audience Award at the Vail Film Festival in Colorado. It saw its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Film Festival last week.

Roadshow Films Managing Director Joel Pearlman said: “This is an outstanding start for Red Dog at the Australian box office. It is always exciting when a local production finds a substantial audience and Red Dog has absolutely connected with audiences in cinemas this past weekend.”

Red Dog was released on 4 August 2011 in Australia from Roadshow Films.

The Reel Bits is the cinema arm of DVD Bits. Richard can be found on Twitter @DVDBits. The Reel Bits is also @The_ReelBits.

  • Please note that Nancy Gillespie Wrote RED DOG (published in 1983) NOT Red Dog:the pilbara wanderer. This was in fact written by Beverley Duckett (published in 1994). Nancy Gillespie’s book RED DOG will be re-launched in September 2011. A lot of the research for the movie has actually come from mums book although she has recieved no credit for this, apart from a small mention in the intro in Louis De Bernières book. Please contact me if you need more facts on Red Dog or if indeed you would like to do a story on the re-launch. Regards Tony Jane

    • Thanks, Tony! Noted and corrected. For some reason, I’d written Nancy Gillespie twice there, hence the confusion. Always happy to give the proper credit where it is due.