The documentary Poi E: The Story of Our Song crossed the $1 million mark at the New Zealand Box Office at the weekend.
The film takes an in-depth look at the creation of one of the few Te Reo Māori songs to hit number one on the New Zealand music charts. It is the country's third documentary to reach the milestone.
At the same time, the soundtrack of the movie, which features the original version of the song 'Poi E' has reached number 4 on the New Zealand music charts.
Now in its 5th week of release, 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.”
This is the fourth time ‘Poi E’ has reached the top 10. In 1984, the hit 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.