River Queen, the Vincent Ward-directed historical New Zealand film drama, passed the $1 million mark at the New Zealand box office yesterday.

"It's a great result and one which we always knew was possible," said distributor 20th Century Fox New Zealand managing director Royce Moodabe.

A young woman's search for her lost son is the basis for the 19th century drama set on the Whanganui River and starring Samantha Morton, Kiefer Sutherland, Cliff Curtis, Temuera Morrison and Rawiri Pene.