'Feet' gallops to Aussie b.o. record


George Miller's musical penguins have sung and danced their way into the record books in their home territory.

Since its Dec. 26 opening, "Happy Feet" has grossed AUS$12.13 million ($9.3 million), the highest opening week of all time for an Australian film, distributor Roadshow Films said Tuesday.

The Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures animated feature is expected to quickly join the top five Australian films of all time. That group includes No. 1 "Crocodile Dundee," which has taken in $36.7 million; Miller's "Babe" ($28.3 million); Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" ($21.3 million); "Crocodile Dundee II" ($19.1 million); and Luhrmann's "Strictly Ballroom" ($16.8 million).

"Feet" also will help boost Australian films' share of the boxoffice for 2006. Those figures will be officially released by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia in the next few weeks. The No. 2-grossing Aussie film of the year was "Kenny," which took AUS$7.6 million ($5.8 million), followed by "Jindabyne" with AUS$5.2 million ($4 million).

The top overall grosser in the territory was Buena Vista's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."