A bizarre release strategy leads to a number one for the latest Ice Age adventure.
1. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (134 sites) W/E: £853,226 NEW (Ireland/Northern Ireland/Scotland only)
2. Prometheus (394) W/E: £750,652 Total: £23,107,841
3. The Five-Year Engagement (466) W/E: £745,400 Total: £2,617,531
4. Men in Black 3 (465) W/E: £727,787 Total: £20,265,340
5. Snow White and the Huntsman (458) W/E: £606,624 Total: £14,489,872
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (453) W/E: £386,743 Total: £2,061,175
7. Friends with Kids (294) W/E: £357,520 NEW
8. Chernobyl Diaries (277) W/E: £284,530 Total: £1,150,720
9. Rock of Ages (341) W/E: £240,445 Total: £2,556,436
10. Killer Joe (74) £208,553 NEW
Source: The Guardian
With a release which seems to have confused Fox’s marketing department- as TV spots, bus side ads and print media all tell different stories – Ice Age 4 played all over the UK last weekend but with an official release date of Friday 13th for England and Wales, most of that money has not yet been taken into account. Despite this, with the film officially opening in Ireland and Scotland, it still managed to hit the top spot despite a rather limited screen count on what was a stagnant weekend at the Box Office. This weekend sees more previews in England and Wales, which were apparently decided upon due to England’s exit from Euro 2012, before the film opens properly and will have the two weekends of preview numbers added to its total the weekend after. Bizarre stuff from Fox but hey, they’re number one.
Prometheus manages to rise two places with a pretty decent drop-off of just over a quarter which will have been helped by another relative lack of new releases (those that did come out didn’t do too well, with the well-marketed Storage 24 not even charting) and the aforementioned exit from Euro 2012. I really do think at this point that we could have had room for another blockbuster in the last few weeks with the Euros not playing as big a part in eating up audiences than it has in the past, and while it couldn’t have been predicted, this weather could have made people rush to the cinema. If it stays grey out there this week, a certain Spider could be on for some monster box office. The Five-Year Engagement drops slightly worse than Prometheus, though it managed to stay in third place as it sets out its stool to be a quiet little earner over the next few weeks.
Dropping two places but still doing well with another fairly similar drop to the films above it is Men In Black 3 which probably would have done better without the presence of Ice Age 3, the film being the only other real family friendly competition in the top ten, with the film also likely having 3D screens taken away from it for Fox’s animated beast. Another less than a third drop also happened for Snow White & The Huntsman, which will be well over £15 million and has done perfectly well.
Unsurprisingly, the worst drop-off by far is made by Abe Lincoln, which did have two extra days of previews last week but still takes a pretty catastrophic dive down the chart and will be having 3D screens taken off something fierce for Spider-Man as of today. A shame (in my opinion) but not a surprise here and probably won’t be hanging around for too long. A new entry follows here as Friends with Kids makes a fairly middling debut in the chart which probably isn’t helped by a cast which contains a lot of names but no real massive “stars”, with John Hamm, Chris O’Dowd and Kristen Wiig still not quite breaking through into proper mainstream recognition as of yet. With The Five-Year Engagement also out at the moment, this has suffered a little by comparison also though it could have a presence in the lower end of the chart for a little while yet if word-of-mouth is good.
Dipping better than I had expected, Chernobyl Diaries does well to drop less than a half week-on-week and especially when with both Storage 24 and the limited release of Lovely Molly, it had a fair bit of competition for the horror audience on the big screen. I may have been a little wrong on this one and good for StudioCanal. With the second worst drop-off in the chart, Rock of Ages makes what could be its last showing after only three weekends of play, though in fairness it had more screens taken off of it than the other holdouts in the chart. A turkey is still a turkey though.
Finishing off is my real surprise of the week, as Killer Joe manages to get a top ten placing despite playing on far less screens than anything else in the chart. With one of the best per-screen averages this week, the film managed to find a voice through strong marketing and a fair bit of buzz being generated for it. William Friedkin’s dedicated presence in promoting the film will also have helped on this one, getting the word out that this was THE film for film lovers to go see this weekend.
This coming weekend will see the chart dominated by one film, as The Amazing Spider-Man opened wide last night with over two days of previews surely helping to make a pretty huge debut for the first blockbuster release in over a month. Opening as pure counter-programming is the decent Willem Dafoe starrer The Hunter, which probably won’t make a Top Ten appearance but will be offering something a little different, as will 7 Days In Havana. I don’t see much movement happening in the chart next weekend, but seeing how much Spider-Man makes should be very interesting.