Local heist film 31 Million Reasons, takes R320k on opening weekend

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Now this makes me smile. A South African film making a splash at the local box office, and not a single hidden camera, white man in blackface/drag or cheesy Afrikaans liefdesliedjie in sight.

TimesLive is reporting that the Durban heist film, 31 Million Reasons, has made R320 000 on it’s opening weekend, getting it onto the top 10 local box rankings. Compared to local record holder Mr Bones 2’s R6 million opening weekend gross in 2008, this may seem a small amount, but 31 Million Reasons did it with only 27 prints in circulation, whereas the Leon Schuster tragedy comedy opened on 110 different screens.

Starrring  local soapie star Jack Devnarain, the film is loosely based on the infamous 1997 Durban cash heist, which saw corrupt policemen pull off the biggest cash heist in South African history. Fourteen men eventually served prison time for the crime, but not all involved were ever caught. Rumours concerning the people involved as well as the actual amount stolen have floated around ever since.

The film’s producer, Ross Garland had this to say:

“It was very satisfying to hit our targets on opening weekend. Audiences really got behind us in KZN, which is perhaps not surprising with Durban appearing as a key character in the movie.”

Director John Barker adds:

“Having grown up in Durban and consequently discovering that producer Ross Garland and co-producer Brad Logan had grown up in Durban around the same time, the vision for 31 Million Reasons was always a singular one. Make Durban look sexy.

I was less interested in the postcard image of Durban but more in the 3rd world, East meets West… in the Southern hemisphere kind of mix.”

Thus far the few local reviews I have come across has been pretty favourable. Expect our review up later in the week.

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Last Updated: January 18, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • That actually looks pretty good… glad to see it doing well

  • I’m glad for it’s success. Great stuff. Yeah, it should be weighty and worthy and what have you but if you’re not entertaining anyone, then your film isn’t worth shit. 

    And from what I hear, while it is hugely stylized, 31 Million Reasons fulfills that rule of entertaining its audience.

    My one issue is with the trailer. What a clumsy, bland, poorly constructed effort. I’m not talking out of my ass here. I’ve cut trailers before, I love watching them analysing what was done to make them work so I can see when they don’t. This one doesn’t and was presumably cut by someone who only came across the notion of editing a few minutes before they started cutting

    • Agreed on the trailer. It lends none of the excitement that the film may bring. Unfortunately, this tends to be a trend with local film trailers.

    • Skyblue

      Agreed that the trailer isn’t very good but I’ll still go watch this.

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