Movie reaches $1 million at NZ Box Office.
Soundtrack reaches No 4 on Music Charts
The film about the origins of the song now referred to as New Zealand’s unofficial National Anthem, Poi E: The Story of Our Song, crossed the $1 million mark in the New Zealand box office this weekend.
This makes it the third New Zealand documentary to reach that milestone (after The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls and Home By Christmas).
At the same time, the soundtrack of the movie, which features the original version of the song ‘Poi E’, has reached No 4 on the NZ music charts.
Now in its 5th week of release with strong word-of-mouth, Poi E continues its run in cinemas around the country.
Andrew Cornwell, General Manager of Sony Pictures NZ, says, “We are delighted that Poi E is playing well all over the country, in cities as well as the regions. And, in a show of local pride, its Taranaki hometown cinema in Hawera came in at No 2 for opening week. This feel-good movie with its compelling story, vibrant characters and down-home humour is touching a kiwi nerve amongst audiences along with 5 stars and enthusiastic quotes from key reviewers.”
Poi E director, producer and writer Tearepa Kahi says: “Reaching the box-office milestone of seven figures for our little documentary is very rewarding. Not because of the size of the box-office but because so many Kiwis are connecting to the richness of the story within. I’ve received so many messages from New Zealanders over the past 5 weeks, young and old, whose eyes have been opened by Dalvanius, Ngoi and the Pātea Māori Club. People from all walks of life have been moved emotionally and culturally. I believe when we all understand how far they took our language and culture, it gives us all strength to take it that much further today.”
Boosted by the popularity of the movie about its origins, the song ‘Poi E’ has once again made an impact on the music charts, although this time in combination with other songs from the soundtrack.
This is the fourth time ‘Poi E’ has reached the top 10. In 1984, ‘Poi E’ reached No 1 and broke every musical record. It remained in the charts for 34 weeks, outselling ‘Thriller’, ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ and every other hit of 1984. ‘Poi E’ was the first and still the only Number 1 song written entirely in Te Reo Māori.
The Poi E soundtrack includes the first-ever performance of the song ‘Poi E’ sung by its composers, Ngoi Pewhairangi and Dalvanius Prime and family members, on a cassette recording discovered in a sock drawer during research for the movie. Fans of the movie are loving this version and requesting copies of the poetic modern translation seen in the finale of the movie.
Poi E movie production credits:
Jawbone Pictures in association with the Pātea Film Collective, Te Māngai Paho, NZ on Air and the New Zealand Film Commission presents Poi E: The Story of our Song
Written, directed and executive produced by Tearepa Kahi
Starring Dalvanius Prime, Ngoi Pēwhairangi and the Pātea Māori Club along with Taika Waititi, Stan Walker and the Topp Twins
Director of Photography: Fred Renata and Jos Wheeler Sound Design: Dick Reade and Colleen Brennan Graphics: Jeff Smith Editors: Tearepa Kahi and Francis Glenday Producers: Alexander Behse, Reikura Kahi Line Producer:Callie Adams Associate Producers: Tuteri Rangihaeata, Eruera Te Whiti Nia, Natasha Prime, Nephi Prime