Chopper opened nation-wide on August 3, 2000, on 138 screens.
It grossed $1, 258, 717 (Australian) over the opening weekend.
It displaced The Patriot (on 333 screens) from the top spot on the opening weekend.
It is the highest grossing release in Palace Films’ 25 year history.
After its 8th week in release, Chopper had grossed $5, 503, 559 (Australian).
By April 29, 2001, it had grossed $60, 338 (US) in the United States.
It was the first R rated Australian film to get to number one on the box office charts.
The one liners, the ear slicing, the best sellers, the Elle McFeast appearance, the legends about Chopper Read are now
well and truly crusted onto the Australian psyche.
Brave then of Andrew Dominik to make a film which attempts to understand the man. From the moment when Eric Bana , as the
young Chopper Read, stands over a groaning body in Pentridge and with a look of complete stricken sorrow, tries to help to
his feet a man whom he's just brutally attacked, Dominic's film will have you engaged.
This film doesn't make any bids for sympathy for it's subject, and clearly doesn't approve or condone the violence which
Read periodically deploys. The violence it shows is gruesome and painful, and never employed to titillate. The more interesting
thing is that the film engages us from the outset in the why question, why does this man, this often likable man, do such
puzzling contradictory and very vicious things?
Eric Bana's Chopper Read can make us laugh by the bluster and wheedle, but the moments of stricken panic are there as plainly
as the show he puts on for his mates, for the world, for himself. In the first half of the film, inside Pentridge's H Division,
Bana's young Mark Read has a vulnerability as well as an audacity which makes him engaging even while we dread the next burst
In the second half of the film, on his release from Pentridge, the older Chopper Read is buffeted and bewildered, increasingly
paranoid, unable to get a handle on the world. But the situations he contrives for himself are absurd, as well as sick and
Dominik's screenplay and direction exploits these while we watch an Australian tragedy unfolding, as Australian tragedies
will, as farce. It is a stunning performance from Bana who shifts through a complex register of moods. It's a performance
which has AFI award written all over it. And it's supported by equally strong performances from Simon Lyndon as his mate Jimmy
Loughnan, and Kate Beahan as his girlfriend Tanya.