Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Top Homegrown Film of 2014 in Australia

The Water Diviner Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The Water Diviner Still - H 2014

The star's directorial debut brought in $5.65 million within the six days to the end of the year

Russell Crowe's directorial debut The Water Diviner is the top-grossing homegrown film of 2014 in Australia.

Released on Boxing Day, the film, set after the WWI battle of Gallipoli, brought in $5.65 million at the Australian box office within the six days to the end of 2014, distributor Entertainment One said on Monday. As of Sunday night, it had grossed $8.4 million.

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The performance beat the box-office take of Greg McLean's Wolf Creek 2, which brought in $4.7 million in 2014, to make the movie the top homegrown release of the year in Australia.

"We are delighted that Australian audiences have responded with such enthusiasm to the film," said Mike Baard, managing director for Universal Pictures Australia and Sandie Don, head of distribution for Entertainment One. "It's that time of year when people are thinking about the future, and The Water Diviner reminds us of the possibility of hope. It is so fitting that in the year that we remember the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, all Australians have a film [that] transports audiences to that time and place but does so with a fresh perspective and such a positive and uplifting message, which is relevant today."

Only four Australian movies crossed the million-dollar mark at the country's box office in 2014. Detailed, full-year figures are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

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The Water Diviner actress Olga Kurylenko recently told THR: "What I like about the film is that it doesn't take sides, and that is why I think people have loved it. Both the Turks and the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers are presented with such understanding and equally with such respect. It's really well done. And it's so hard to do so."

Twitter: @georgszalai