1. Madagascar 3 (532 sites) W/E: £6,030,904 (Includes S/S previews) NEW
2. Paranormal Activity 4 (416) W/E: £2,544,701 (Includes W/Th previews) NEW
3. Taken 2 (492) W/E: £2,264,856) Total: £18,551,087
4. Hotel Transylvania (472) W/E: £1,023,722 Total: £3,375,280
5. Looper (389) W/E: £781,211 Total: £9,017,332
6. Frankenweenie (409) W/E: £741, 683 (Includes W/Th previews) NEW
7. Sinister (357) W/E: £711,918 Total: £5,089,968
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (241) W/E: £213,091 Total: £1,950,094
9. Beasts of the Southern Wild (28) W/E: £181,801 NEW
10. Brave (330) W/E: £176,827 Total: £21,930,374
Thanks to Andy for covering last week.
With very little surprise, Paramount get another number one thanks to their soon-to-end collabration with Dreamworks Animation. It’s a very strong start for Madagascar 3, which would have been No.1 regardless of last weekend’s preview figures which nevertheless play a part here. The franchise is one which has always spoken to kids but with some of the strongest reviews for any animated fare this year, it looks to perhaps have a little bit of breakthrough potential, with cinephiles also pricking up their ears thanks to a Noah Baumbach co-penned screenplay. It certainly weathered the storm of having kids product to compete with it, more of which later, but the next challenge will be to see how well it does up against Bond this weekend. While Skyfall is obviously a more adult-orientated proposition, the sheer ubiquity of that film’s marketing, and its 12A rating, may mean some parents take their inappropriately-aged progeny to arguably the biggest film of the season instead this coming weekend. But with half-term next week, Madagascar 3 will hold well regardless.
Paramount score a rare one-two victory with Paranormal Activity 4 opening with a solid-if-not-spectacular opening, which is a little worse given two days of additional previews. The franchise has always had fairly solid legs in the UK and with two clear weeks of play before Halloween, it’s going to be looking at some healthy enough grosses over weekday evenings as well as weekends for the next little while. However it’s safe to say none of the PA films previous have had anything as big as Skyfall to go up against, and Paramount will be hoping audiences will be up for a scare as well as an explosion in the coming week.
After two weeks at the top Taken 2 drops a couple of places, though a drop of 40% or so is still a pretty decent result considering just how dire word is on the film.But with little out to connect with the action audience this weekend, it’s still got its place. Expect a far steeper drop next week…
Spooking younger audiences are Hotel Transylvania which drops 40% in the heat of a fair bit of competition but looks to be fending far better than Frankenweenie, which opens up disappointingly weakly considering how much love there seems to be for it and with a very high profile launch at the London Film Festival a couple of weeks back. Even with the benefit of previews, the film looks to have just been a bit too much of a stretch for an audience which embraced ParaNorman and seems to be making Hotel Transylvania at least a modest hit. With screen space an issue, Frankenweenie will have to hope for good word-of-mouth to be seen as anything other than a commercial failure for Disney, something which seems to be happening a little too often for the Mouse House of late (and I say this as someone with a great deal of time for this AND John Carter!).
Performing better is E-One’s Looper, which has stuck around for a fair while and has performed much better in relative terms than the US as it crosses the nine million barrier. It could do over 10 mil when all is said and done. Sinister also manages to crack the five million barrier after a few weeks of play which for a low-budget, original horror movie is not bad going at all.
The bottom end of the chart sees some usual suspects fall, but attention must be paid to Beasts of the Southern Wild which debuts in the ten despite playing on less than 10% of the screens the other entrants are. With a lot of buzz from film fans, it has become quite the hot ticket and will look to improve on this with an expansion this weekend. That all said, it’s STILL not playing in Cardiff this weekend. Grumble grumble.
The only wide release of next week is obviously Sony’s Skyfall, which will look to have an absolutely barnstorming opening at the UK Box Office with cinemas saturating their screens with showtimes galore. The marketing has felt classy throughout and combined with critical responses that point towards this being the best Bond in a long time, the signs are there for a dynamite weekend. This will be the only new entrant next weekend, but fair play to Metrodome who will aim for some Halloween pounds with a limited release of Room 237, and also Kaledioscope who bring the entertaining-if-lightweight Stitches out in a limited run also.