Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Australia" another letdown for Nicole Kidman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Maybe Crocodile Dundee should have starred in "Australia."

Twentieth Century Fox appears to have given up on director Baz Luhrmann's latest period epic in North America, and is hoping that foreign sales will rescue the costly picture.

The movie has sold just $44.3 million worth of tickets at the U.S. and Canadian box office after five weekends, and is shaping up to be the latest in a line of disappointments for its star, Nicole Kidman.

The News Corp-owned studio says it hopes "Australia" will reach $50 million domestically. The project cost $130 million and movie theaters generally keep about half of the gross.

"We were hoping to do more in the U.S., but it's tough. There's a lot of competition," said Bert Livingston, Fox's senior vice-president of domestic distribution.

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