Red Dog, a possibly unsubtle but apparently likable Australian-made flick about a bright orphan dog who gets adopted by a community, has become a hit since opening in Australia on 8.4. By Australian standards, that is. It’s earned $8.5 million so far, which is apparently an excellent haul for that market and for a locally-made film. No U.S. distributor has snagged the rights so far, presumably for a reason. Too on-the-nose? Too “Australian” in some way?

The Red Dog trailer does a decent job of selilng what seems like an okay lovable-dog popcorn movie. There’s nothing wrong with a film about a smart dog and several blokey characters responding to him emotionally, etc.

For whatever reason the Essential Entertainment press release has made no mention of director Kriv Stenders. The dog, whose coat was dyed red for the film, is called Koko. (You’d think they’d let the gorilla have that name and come up with something else.) The costars are Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Noah Taylor, Whale Rider‘s Keisha Castle-Hughes and Luke Ford.