Garth Davis’ debut feature film Lion opened this weekend at the top of the Australian box office, taking in $4.2 million.
It’s the fifth best opening weekend ever for an Australian film, behind The Great Gatsby ($6.79 million), Happy Feet ($6.6 million), Australia ($6.4 million) and Mad Max: Fury Road ($6.2 million).
It opens ahead of Xxx 3: The Return Of Xander Cage, which took in just under $3 million, with Sing, Moana and La La Land following.
Lion, which stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, is based on Saroo Brierley’s autobiographical book A Long Way Home, which traces his experiences as an Indian man, adopted by Australians, and reconnecting with his biological parents.
The film is receiving rave reviews from critics around the world and has been nominated for and won several prestigious film world awards.
It’s expected to feature in this year’s Academy Award nominations, which will be announced on Wednesday.