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Trailer: 47 Ronin

A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonour of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

PT2M23S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-303se 620 349

Keanu Reeves' latest film, 47 Ronin, has opened in the US with hugely unimpressive results, which does not bode well for its release on Australian screens next month.

Based on the classic Japanese tale of the same name, the first three days of release returned just $US14.1 million ($15.9 million), a fraction of the film's $US175 million budget.

<i>47 Ronin</i>, starring Keanu Reeves, had a reported budget of $US175 million.

47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, had a reported budget of $US175 million.

Despite the star power of Reeves, the public has remained largely indifferent as audiences have preferred to see either The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or Wolf of Wall Street, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming that those two movies were vying for top box-office position over the holiday weekend.

Critical response to 47 Ronin might have also have deterred moviegoers, with reviews being largely negative. The film holds a 12 per cent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Village Voice critic Alan Scherstuhl calling it "solemn as a funeral march, humourless as your junior high principal, as Japanese as a grocery-store California roll".

Ben Stiller's adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opened in Australia on Boxing Day having also underachieved. The total worldwide gross fell well short of the $US90 million budget, at $US53 million.

The film, which Stiller directed and starred in, also features Kristen Wiig and, despite receiving better reviews than 47 Ronin, has still been met with a mixed critical reception.

Although not on the same financial scale, Justin Bieber's second concert documentary, Believe, has also fallen well short of expectations, grossing $US2.2 million over its opening US weekend, a fraction of the $US29.5 million brought in by his first film, Never Say Never.

The film opened on only 1037 screens, a third of the number of his previous movie, but on almost double that of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which grossed more than $US30 million on its release in 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bieber's announcement of his retirement coupled with recent indiscretions might have prompted parents to keep their children away from Believe, and the film's release during in the crowded Christmas period might have contributed to the mediocre numbers.

The Hollywood Reporter claims the release is lower than any previous effort from the present crop of children's pop icons, such as the Jonas Brothers, Miley and One Direction.