1. Taken 2 (506 sites) W/E: £7,378,048 NEW (Includes Th previews)
2. Looper (466) W/E: £1,519,503 Total: £5,412,102
3. Sinister (370) W/E: £1,435,722 NEW
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (328) W/E: £827,983 NEW
5. ParaNorman (502) W/E: £797,754 Total: £5,263,993
6. The Campaign (382) W/E: £389,287 Total: £1,675,159
7. Brave (449) W/E: £304,735 Total: £21,570,349
8. Resident Evil: Retribution (331) W/E: £286,350 Total: £1,519,851
9. Untouchable (153) W/E: £245,343 Total: £964,308
10. Hope Springs (313) W/E: £190,860 Total: £3,563,199
Source: The Guardian
With a level of odd pop-culture success and a career re-defining performance from Liam Neeson, Pierre Morell’s original Taken was a box office success in the UK which led to a barnstorming performance a few months later in the US. The film which many, including Neeson himself, thought would go direct-to-DVD instead launched a potential new franchise and based on this week’s numbers, a third part may not be too far away, even if reviews have been terrible for Olivier Megaton’s sequel. With numbers which even including Thursday previews are incredibly impressive, Fox’s incredibly cynical gamble to re-edit the film for a 12A has worked, with an over £7 million debut at the top which is the best one-weekend result in ages, and the fifth biggest of the year overall. Even with a drop off a cliff in its second week which feels at least somewhat likely (though there’s not much direct competition this weekend) this is a flick which will break £10 million without breaking a sweat and along with impressive US numbers, will make a lot of money for everyone involved. A Megaton of money indeed.
Dropping only around a third week-on-week is the well-regarded Looper which becomes E-One’s best performer at the UK box office this year after only a couple of weeks, though the upcoming Twilight finale will stop that soon enough. Still, £4.3 million is nothing to sniff at all and the film will remain a decent choice for audiences over the next few weeks looking for a combination of intelligence and popcorn fodder which is a tad lacking at the moment.
Opening in third is another new entry, as Momentum’s Sinister debuts pretty strongly in third place, benefiting from solid marketing and a date which places the film well enough away from the upcoming Paranormal Activity 4 to scare up some space for itself. With these two the only horror contributions until Silent Hill: Revelation turns up on the 31st, its got a great chance to do solid business over the next few weeks, and if audiences prove to be getting tired of the PA series, it could do even better.
Another solid opening comes from E-One’s second wide release in two weeks, as The Perks of Being a Wallflower secures its audience with a showing which is perfectly respectable for what it is and will likely do well from the Emma Watson factor for a while, and certainly if it holds screens through the upcoming half-term holidays, something I personally hope happens, it being my favourite film in the chart at the moment.
The rest of the chart is filled with holdovers as ParaNorman does well with a final week before direct competition, with a drop of only around a quarter, though expect harsher next week. The Campaign drops over 50% in what should be a pretty brief chart run, Brave drops only a quarter but could lose screen space this weekend, though it’s been around for over two months and frankly its time has come to leave. Resident Evil drops off a cliff in its second week dropping around two-thirds as action audiences move to Liam Neeson, a performance which will very much worry Sony who were hoping for a strong international performance from the film. And finally Untouchable and Hope Springs make their likely swansongs with both performing pretty well overall.
This week’s releases look to be slightly dicey in commercial terms, though I’d look to Sony’s Hotel Transylvania to open well enough, though previews of Dreamworks’ Madagascar 3, which has taken many months to debut over here, opens for weekend previews which could eat into the box office somewhat. Still, it’s all fresh kids product and that will make the cinema chains happy. Momentum’s odd looking Hit & Run also hits for some date crowds while Fox’s Ruby Sparks looks to eat into some of the Wallflower audience though it may also skew older. Vertigo release their remake of Pusher as well, though screen counts may be a touch dicey for that, and Lionsgate will hope for some heat from On The Road which seems to be as anticipated a wet fart from what I’m feeling. Could be a brutal week for some of these.