1. Dredd (415 sites) W/E: £1,049,345 NEW
2. Lawless (410) W/E: £973,234 NEW (Includes Weds previews)
3. Anna Karenina (496) W/E: £875,702 NEW
4. Total Recall (466) W/E: £675,280 Total: £4,075,574
5. Brave (530) W/E: £649,057 Total: £19,344,823
6. The Possession (358) W/E: £533,334 Total: £2,150,064
7. Ted (383) W/E: £479,943 Total: £29,191,321
8. The Dark Knight Rises (256) W/E: £352,587 Total: £55,312,954
9. The Watch (373) W/E: £338,184 Total: £3,162,291
10. The Bourne Legacy (305) W/E: £270,180 Total: £10,569,592
This last weekend was really supposed to be the start of the Autumn box office season but seeing these results does bring the phrase “Indian Summer” very much to mind as while 3 rather high-profile films debut in the top 3 positions, these are at best qualified successes. The spoils go to Dredd for which Entertainment have already made ads crowing about its status as “The UK’s Number One Film”, and this is the first 18-rated top spot since Saw 6 nearly 2 years ago. However, a film scoring just over £1 million and getting to be a chart topper is a relatively unseen proposition and points to the fact that the last weekend of Paralympics action and the fine weather put paid to chances for anything else. Having been reviewed far more positively than most action films, this may well do a decent job of holding up well though there is certainly a fair bit of new product hoping to capture at least part of its audience, so it remains to be seen what the real story on the BO life of Dredd will be.
Debuting at number two and three are two films with very starry casts and acclaimed filmmakers at the helm but Momentum and Universal will be very disappointed by the openings for Lawless and Anna Karenina whose audience will have been outside and unlikely to want to spend a couple of hours in the dark. The marketing for both films had been well done and they have both been reviewed with a fair amount of positivity, so as long as the films are able to hold up a decent amount of screens they should be able to gather some steam in the weeks ahead and both will skew older, particularly AK, and so could do well in midweek. Conversely though, both could be a challenge for these audiences, Lawless very much earns an 18-cert and Anna Karenina’s unusal way of staging could be something that will put off the broader audience, I certainly saw a few walkouts at a mid-afternoon screening last Friday.
Lower down in the chart, Total Recall completely flatlines in its 2nd week with a near 75% drop though with two days of previews last week that’s not to be too unexpected, though this says nothing about the film’s word-of-mouth. Saying this though new entry The Watch from last week looks to be dropping dead far quicker, not a surprise given the complete lack of enthusiasm for the film critically and even from Fox’s marketing team.
Brave also wilted in the late sun but with the school holidays over, this is on its way out of the door with a decent if not mindblowing take to its name, no shame for Pixar with this one. Holding up better than anything else week-on-week, much to my surprise is the Sam Raimi produced The Possession which has found a niche for those wanting a scare, and long time charters Ted, The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy also take hefty drops as fresher product comes in to take away screens and attention.
Opening in a varied slate this week sees the first kids film for a while as ParaNorman strikes in both dimensions with hopes of managing to strike through to a broaded, perhaps older, audience very much in there for Universal. Sony also release a curious double bill with the barely promoted Premium Rush and the apparently barely worth promoting To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s latest, hitting nationwide, Revolver hope for a bit of a breakout with the limited release When The Lights Go Out and lastly, EOne and Vertigo will be hoping for a big opening from the well-marketed The Sweeney, which has a two day head start on everything else as it opens today.