Hunt for the Wilderpeople Success

Hunt for the Wilderpeople has been a huge success. Here are some highlights

- It is New Zealand’s #1 NZ film of all time and #6 film at the NZ box office ever!!!! And still showing on over 50 screens in week 15. Wild Pork and Watercress has also been in the #1 adult fiction charts for many weeks. The soundtrack also hit the charts in week 1.

- Wilderpeople holds the record for the highest grossing NZ film at the Australian box office, and it’s still showing on 142 screens. Australian Film Critic John MacDonald even said he wished he was a kiwi when watching the film, which is pretty skux!

- Just this week HFTW placed among the top 100 films of all time on the Rotten Tomatoes website, with a 100% Fresh rating with over 100 reviews, joining the likes of Citizen Kane, the Wizard of Oz and The Terminator (the one before she could do chin ups)!

- The film has been winning Audience Awards internationally at The Independent Film Festival of Boston, The Montclair Film Festival, The San Francisco International Film Festival, The Wisconsin Film Festival.

- The film was New York Times and LA Times Critic's Pick.

-  The film won Audience Award at Edinburgh Film Festival (previous winners include Muriel’s Wedding, The Full Monty and Amelie). The film opens in the UK on the 16th of September.

- The rest of the world will be released by Sony, who are working on the festival release at the moment.

- The New Zealand DVD/VOD release is 26th September when many other countries will also have it available on DVD and VOD. 


Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople has cemented its place in the record books overtaking the 2010 Kiwi classic BOY (which Waititi also directed) to become the largest grossing local film at the New Zealand Box office.
Already holding the record for the highest opening weekend for a local film ($1,263,035 - March 31st – April 3rd 2106) and the highest single grossing day for a local film ($528,896 – Saturday April 2nd 2016), this result is the icing on the cake for Waititi.
"I make movies for New Zealanders so it’s humbling and validating to know my work has an audience,” says Waititi. It’s proof that we still have relevant and entertaining stories to tell and that kiwis believe in the worth of those stories. It fills me with pride and joy to have two films, Māori films, in the top box office positions, and I thank everyone who helped us get to this place in time.“
“However this is the happiest and saddest day of my career,” continues Waititi. Not only has Wilderpeople become the highest grossing film of all time, but BOY has just lost its place as highest grossing film of all time. I both hate and love this achievement simultaneously. To all the people who worked so hard on Wilderpeople, congratulations! To all the people who worked so hard on BOY, I’m sorry. To the people of New Zealand… THANK YOU!!!"
Producers Carthew Neal and Leanne Saunders are thrilled the spirit of the film has resonated so well in the hearts of the nation.

"We have always felt the spirit of Barry Crump while making this film - In Taika's confident, anarchic style and the cast and crews 'give it a whirl' attitude. Its great the NZ audience have embraced this too."
With demand still high, Hunt for the Wilderpeople continues to play strong sessions in cinemas nationwide. Mark Chamberlain, Theatrical Sales Manager at Madman Entertainment says it’s a testament to the collaboration with cinema operators around the country.
“We’re so proud to have been involved in bringing this now iconic film to New Zealanders. We wish to acknowledge and sincerely thank all the cinema owners and operators around the country who collaborated with us on this journey”.
The film is set for theatrical release in Australia on May 26th and then in the US on June 24th. The film will also be released globally thanks to international distribution deals announced today at the Cannes Film Festival.
Dave Gibson, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission is thrilled of the success of the tile at home and is excited about its next chapter on the world stage.
"It's great that New Zealander's love this film and have turned up in droves to see it. And now we have the added bonus of worldwide audiences getting to see something uniquely Kiwi."
Written and directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders, Matt Noonan and Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Inspired by Barry Crump’s novel, Wild Pork and Watercress, the film recounts the story of misfit kid Ricky Baker who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive in this heartwarming adventure comedy.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople current NZ Box Office (As at close of trading Sunday 15th May 2016): $9,650,074
Number of weeks at the NZ Cinema: 7 (and counting)
Number of weeks in cinemas as the number one film: 3
Estimated number of tickets sold: 650,000
BOY final NZ Box Office: $9.322 M (26 Weeks in NZ Theatres)

Leanne Saunders new head of production & development at NZFC

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has hired Leanne Saunders as its new head of production and development.

Saunders arrives with 15 years’ experience in film and television production and will start in late May, replacing Lisa Chatfield who recently left the NZFC for a role at local production outfit Pukeko Pictures.  

Saunders’ feature film credits include The Weight Of Elephants, Born To Dance, The Devil’s Rock, Christmas and Desert. Most recently she co-produced Hunt For The Wilderpeople with Piki Films co-founders Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi.

NZFC chief executive Dave Gibson said: “Leanne is one of New Zealand’s most experienced film producers and I am delighted she has accepted this key role at the NZFC.

“Her regular attendance at international festivals and markets, combined with her extensive development and production experience, makes her an ideal addition to the NZFC team.”

Stan Walker, Rhys Darby & Oscar Kightley join Wilderpeople

Stan Walker and Rhys Darby have joined Sam Neill in the cast of Taika Waititi's movie adaptation of a book by Barry Crump.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is based on Crump's Wild Pork and Watercress, stars Neill as the cantankerous foster uncle Hec who goes bush in the Ureweras with his city kid nephew Ricky after Social Welfare threatens to put the boy into a home.

Read more here.

Variety: Sam Neill joins Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Sam Neill and young “Paper Planes” star Julian Dennison have joined the cast of “Hunt For the Wilderpeople,” which is directed by hot New Zealand director Taika Waititi, who scored an international hit with “What We Do in the Shadows.”

The comic adventure movie starts shooting next week in New Zealand. Madman Entertainment has acquired all rights to the film for Australia and New Zealand, and will release in NZ in partnership with the producers. Protagonist Pictures has taken on international sales rights.

Dennison plays a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle (Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive.

Read more here.