Australia’s poor opening at the box office "once again proves that Nicole Kidman is many things, but not a movie star," said Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. In Hollywood, “being a star isn't about being a recognizable celebrity,” it comes down to one “very simple equation: Do people pay money on opening weekend to see you in a movie?” And based on “that standard, Kidman doesn't fill the bill.”
“Australia looks set to join a list of Kidman films with a U.S. gross considerably lower than what it cost,” said David Thomson in the Guardian, so it’s fair to ask whether the actress is “becoming box-office poison.” But she has “always tended to be at her best in difficult rather than mainstream roles,” and “the bigger the picture, the greater the peril.”
Kidman is still a star, said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. “She took a role in a big romantic picture, helped Baz Luhrmann get it made and willingly took a back seat to Hugh Jackman, a cute kid and a big Land Called Oz—her home country—to serve the picture.” The fact the Australia didn’t open well is “not really her fault.”
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