Taika Waititi says Hunt For the Wilderpeople's new box office record makes him happy - and a little bit sad.

Waititi's runaway hit today became the biggest grossing local film at the New Zealand box office when its $9,650,074 overtook his previous 2010 movie Boy over the weekend.

Boy's box office takings were $9,237,976.

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In a statement, Waititi described the achievement as "humbling and validating" but went on to say he had mixed emotions.

"This is the happiest and saddest day of my career. Not only has Wilderpeople become the highest grossing film of all time, but Boy has just lost its place as highest grossing film of all time," he said.

"I both hate and love this achievement simultaneously."

Wilderpeople already held two records: the highest opening weekend for a local film with $1,263,035 and the highest single grossing day for a local film $528,896.

Waititi said the news proved New Zealanders had "relevant and entertaining stories to tell and that kiwis believe in the worth of those stories".

"It fills me with pride and joy to have two films, Maori films, in the top box office positions, and I thank everyone who helped us get to this place in time."

Wilderpeople is being released in Australia on May 26 and in the US on June 24.