Hunt for the Wilderpeople record bittersweet for Taika Waititi

BEVAN READ/stuff.co.nz

The red carpet became green with the outback themed premiere for the 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' at Sylvia park.

Taika Waititi's hit film Hunt for the Wilderpeople has smashed New Zealand Box office records, but for director Taika Waititi, the news comes with a hint of sadness.

Already holding the record for the highest opening weekend for a local film, Wilderpeople has become the largest grossing local film at the New Zealand Box office ever with $9,650,074.

It overtook the 2010 Kiwi classic Boy, ($9,237,976), also directed by Waititi, making the win a bittersweet defeat for the director, who said the news marked the happiest and saddest day of his career.

Actor and Director Taika Waititi apologised to the people who worked on Boy, since his other film knocked it off the top ...
Michael Bradley

Actor and Director Taika Waititi apologised to the people who worked on Boy, since his other film knocked it off the top spot.

"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!!!"

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Actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison  in the Taika Waititi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
SUPPLIED

Actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison in the Taika Waititi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

 

Waititi said in a statement that the news was both humbling and validating.

"It's proof that we still have relevant and entertaining stories to tell and that kiwis believe in the worth of those stories.

Actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison  in the Taika Waititi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
supplied

Actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison in the Taika Waititi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

"It fills me with pride and joy to have two films, Maori films, in the top box office positions, and I thank everyone who helped us get to this place in time."
 
Starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, the film was inspired by Barry Crump's novel, Wild Pork and Watercress, and recounts the story of misfit kid who sparkes a national manhunt when he finds himself on the run in the New Zealand bush with his foster uncle.
 
The comedy is set to release in Australia on May 26, and the US on June 24.
 

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JASON DORDAY/Stuff.co.nz

Taika Waititi talks about directing his latest Kiwi comedy.

Julian Dennison from Hunt for the Wilderpeople
MAARTEN DE BOER

Julian Dennison from Hunt for the Wilderpeople

 - Stuff

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