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Up Education

South Seas graduate making waves in Hollywood

19 Jan 2023
- Gerard Johnstone at the premiere of the ‘M3gan’ in Hollywood (left), ‘M3gan’ movie cover (right).

Gerard Johnstone, Invercargill-born South Seas graduate, has made international headlines with his most recent film ‘M3gan’ which has become a Hollywood box office hit.

The Universal Pictures film was released in the United States earlier this month and grossed $US30.2 million ($NZ47.3 million) in its opening week, nearly triple the amount of its $US12 million budget.

On the international stage, Johnstone’s film has raked in $US14.8 million, raising its revenue to about $US45 million.

The film opened in New Zealand last week.

The newly released sci-fi horror film follows roboticist Gemma, whose dream has always been to create an artificial intelligence robot M3gan which could become a child’s greatest companion.

The film drew the interest of Sir Peter Jackson, Saw director James Wan and producer Jason Blum, who founded Blumhouse Productions.

Other projects Johnstone has directed include comedy television series The Jacquie Brown Diaries and he has twice won the 48-hour film competition with A Fairly Good Tale and Special Crimes Unit.

He is now working on a film about Invercargill champion powerlifter Sonia Manaena, who won a gold medal in the open class heavyweight division at the Powerlifting World Cup at the age of 52.