Low budget superheroes knock horse epic off the top spot in a busy week for new releases at the UK Box Office.
1. Chronicle (397 sites) W/E: £2,193,072 NEW (Includes W/Th previews)
2. Journey 2 The Mysterious Island (431) W/E: £1,200,587 NEW
3. The Descendants (407) W/E: £1,112,964 Total: £4,169,946
4. War Horse (492) W/E: £889,687 Total: £15,333,104
5. Jack and Jill (324) W/E: £848,814 NEW
6. Man on a Ledge (389) W/E: £697,394 NEW
7. The Grey, £521,188 (348) Total: £2,209,907
8. A Monster in Paris (440) W/E: £474,941 Total: £1,666,446
9. The Artist (195) W/E: £374,889 Total: £5,314,327
10. Carnage (112) W/E: £298,733 NEW
Source: The Guardian
For the last couple of weeks its been obvious that Chronicle was going to do well at the box office. Fox have been trailering the hell out of it, I’ve probably seen the trailer attached to something else half a dozen times in the last month, and with an extensive spend on TV advertising too, as well as the usual viral activity associated with films for the “youth” today and the result is a debut which even without the Wednesday and Thursday previews would still have reached the top spot with those two days adding just over £600,000 to the total you see above. Considering this film was on no-one’s radar only 6 months ago, the opening both in the US and internationally must be extremely pleasing for Fox and will give director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis some serious heat going into their next projects. Drop-off shouldn’t be too brutal weather as with good word-of-mouth, generally positive reviews and somewhat improved weather conditions forecast for this coming weekend, people won’t have to brave snowy conditions and will be more up for checking this effort out.
Following up in number 2 is the first big half-term aimed film for this year as Journey 2 The Mysterious Island makes a solid enough debut a. Conidering the original film came out a fair while back and has little brand power, Warner’s sequel was always an odd proposition but to be honest I’m almost a little intrigued to see the film if only to see The Rock and Michael Caine on screen together and the delectable prospect of seeing a 3d Michael Caine flying a giant bumble bee. Sounds good to me. It has got some pretty hefty competition for the children’s market going into this weekend though it’s certainly a little more teen friendly than the young children/nostalgic older audience members reach The Muppets will be expecting going into this weekend. More 3D competition which young boys will be interested in is also hitting this weekend but I think this should be able to hold its own well enough, with the film likely maintaining a decent 3D presence at the expense of A Monster In Paris.
Last week’s highest new entry drops a third and down a place but shows good legs considering the already mentioned rough eather of last weekend which likely ensured Netflix and Lovefilm got a spin in quite a few households. Clooney’s Oscar botherer is doing well though and has weeks to play as it looks to occupy the middle ground of commercial and arthouse sensibilities where other films haven’t done so well, for instance Young Adult and Martha Marcy May Marlene which both landed outside the top 10 this time around, though it’s worth saying MMMM had a higher screen average than YA. Look for low drop-offs for the next few weeks for this one.
The champ of the last few weeks War Horse tumbles a few places and takes a pretty steep drop-off with it despite only losing a few screens. This isn’t thee freshest option out there at the moments and with such a glut of releases overe the last few weeks iots a bit of a miracle that it hung at the top for so long so Disney will be happy enough with their lot already though it’s fair to say the grey pound may which may not have ventured out muchthis weekend may have contributed to the extent of its drop-off. Following War Horse is another new entry as Adam Sandler upsets lovers of Punch Drunk Love even more with Jack & Jill which unlike last summer’s hit Grown Ups doesn’t seem to have connected with too many audiences. Chronicle was certainly the one to see for the teen audience over the weekend and so this was a little lost despite a strong marketing effort from Sony. I just don’t want to think about this film anymore.
Faring even worse than Jack & Jill and also on significantly less screens was E1′s Man On A Ledge, a film they’ve been pimping for months now and yet this translates into a very weak debut which isn’t anywhere near close to what they would have wanted, this mirroring its disappointing US performance. It’s a pretty damn generic title though and with an only OK trailer and no real “hot” stars, despite the presence of Sam Worthington who 2 years ago looked like he was going to be huge. I enjoyed the film well enough for the piece of dumb escapism it is but this is one which will be mostly consumed on the Lovefilm’s and Netflix’s of the world.
Next up, The Grey drops over 50% week-on-week with a surprisingly weak 2nd week though with the weather being cold and snowy outside, it’s no surprise audiences weren’t up for more of the same on the big screen. With an ending which has proven contreversial and Chronicle again taking much of its audience, this one will struggle with more adult aimed competition out this weekend while it continues to do well in the US, Entertainment won’t be too encouraged by its drop off here for sure. Following up is a film which took an even worse ttumble as E1′s poor week continutes with the 2nd frome for Monster In Paris which with the competition offered by Journey 2 absolutely crumbled. Things will only get worse this week as both kids competition and more 3D product are both forthcoming. This one never looked like a huge hit and its non-half term opening never boded well, something which followed through here.
The Artist gains another 5 sites but sees a fairly hefty drop-off though everything seems to have suffered this week though with over £5 million banked so far its towering when compared to the US performance of the film so far. With the BAFTAs upcoming this weekend, it’s going to have a lot of attention this weekend and this is something which should translate into a far more solid gross this coming weekend. Finishing off for the week, Roman Polanski’s Carnage makes a solid debut for a limited release with StudioCanal’s surprisingly long lead marketing campaign paying off with a weekend which has seen it fare better than a lot of the awards season fare over the last few weeks. I don’t expect it to hang around for too long but this is a decent enough debut for this kind of thing.
This coming weekend sees yet moe varied offerings, the biggest of which likely being Disney’s big half-term film as The Muppets finally arrives in the UK off the back of a huge amount of publicity over the last few months. Hammer and Momentum will also be looking to replicate the surprise success The Woman In Black had last weekend in the US. The dark horse of the week is seeing just how Fox’s re-issue of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is going to do with a fair amount of nostalgia being tempered by the fact that a. It’s Episode 1 and b. does it need to be seen in 3D? As I’m an idiot, I’m going to be there Saturday morning. Also coming is StudioCanal’s buzz-lacking Rampart and the finally awards season film of the month comes as Lionsgate bring us David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method.
More next week!