Media Super has welcomed the national release of Australian film Not Suitable for Children despite a lukewarm opening weekend. However, the locally made romantic comedy ventures into more serious territory than the typical fodder served up by Judd Apatow, Katherine Heigl and J-Lo, so word-of-mouth may yet ensure a profitable run.
The film took just over $146,000 on its debut weekend at the local box office, with preview screenings taking the total gross to a shade under $200,000. Not Suitable for Children was shown on 42 screens for its premier in mid-July, with a screen average of $3497 described by trade publication Inside Film as “mediocre”.
The critics have been more encouraging, with the film charming a tough opening-night crowd at this year’s Sydney Film Festival and the ABC’s David Stratton calling it “a fine job from first-time feature director Peter Templeman”. He and At the Movies co-host Margaret Pomeranz each awarded it four stars.
Not Suitable for Children stars Ryan Kwanten as a young playboy who sets out to have a child before the surgeon’s knife renders him infertile. Testicular cancer might not be obvious ground for belly laughs but the mix of comedy with drama against a gritty Newtown/ Erskineville backdrop makes this a lot closer to Nick Hornby’s About a Boy than Apatow’s Knocked Up.
Much of the film is shot in a notorious Newtown share house on Forbes Street called “The Nunnery”, renowned for its wild parties. This works well for the film, as the main characters Jonah (Kwanten), Stevie (Sarah Snook) and Gus (Ryan Corr) host weekly parties and this establishes Jonah as an Inner-West party boy, a role that has earned Kwanten widespread praise.
Super media supporter
Media Super chief executive officer Ross Martin said it was always satisfying to see Australian talent and creativity arrive on the big screen.
Launched in 2009, Media Super has been progressively investing in a range of productions.
‘Through our landmark investment arrangement with Fulcrum Media Finance, the fund provides a multimillion dollar revolving-loan facility that provides debt finance during the production stage for a range of domestic film and television productions,” said Martin.
“Media Super members have earned a competitive return from this unique portfolio and the assistance from our industry partners has been invaluable for the scoping and due diligence required for this kind of alternative investment.
“With the support of both the SPAA and Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Media Super is engaging in an investment that directly benefits our members, local film and television producers, as well as participating employers.”
According to Martin, the revolving facility gives both the fund and its industry partner greater investment flexibility. The loan facility has added to Fulcrum’s funding capability, deepening the existing finance pool available to support local productions and “complementing the funds provided by institutional and private investors”.
Recent productions to receive Media Super investment include The Hunter, starring Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe, Wish You Were Here, starring Joel Edgerton and the Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries series, recently screened on ABC TV, featuring Essie Davis.