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James Wan: Our Unsung Aussie Hero

Categories Lifestyle

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The film director is breaking records and reaping riches…

“Wanning” should be the new word for “winning” because that’s what Aussie movie director James Wan is doing over and over again.

We just learned that his latest flick, The Conjuring 2, has become the biggest-grossing horror film at the Australian box office – ever.

With a gross so far of $10.75m this spookfest has overtaken The Others ($10.73m) The Blair Witch Project ($10.24m) and even Wan’s original The Conjuring, which racked up $8.87m back in 2013.

That’s in addition to the $US330m the film has made around the world.

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The Conjuring 2

But that’s not unusual for James, who this week celebrated by buying a $US18.5 million ($24.7 million) Bel Air mansion that used to be owned by Meg Ryan.

Not bad for the 39-year-old Melburnian who, with his mate Leigh Whannel, had so much belief in their debut script Saw that they took it to Hollywood when short-sighted Aussie producers told them no.

The result was a massive 2004 horror hit that generated an eight-film franchise that has grossed $US873m worldwide.

In the years since Wan has gone from strength to strength, also helming the wildly popular Insidious and Conjuring franchises and producing the smash-hit Annabelle and Lights Out films, both of which are getting sequels. Somewhere in there he also managed to direct Furious 7, which grossed $US1.5 billion at the global box office.

James this week celebrated by buying a $US18.5 million ($24.7 million) Bel Air mansion that used to be owned by Meg Ryan.

The seven-bedroom house is set on 2.8 hectares and boasts ocean and LA skyline views. As these photos show, it’s simply stunning.

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James Wan’s new Bel Air house

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And next time the pub argument turns to Australia’s most successful director, put his name forward over Baz Luhrmann and George Miller.