UK Weekend Box Office (Dec 18th – Dec 20th)
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ broke every U.K. box-office record under the sun, ‘Sisters‘ cheated its way to No. 2 and Bollywood made a comeback! All this and more happened at the U.K. box-office last weekend.
As we all knew, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ was going to open big. It’s had the biggest U.S. opening of all time with $247M (overtaking this summer’s ‘Jurassic World‘ with $208M) but whether or not it would have similar success in the U.K. was up in the air. Well, the numbers are in and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ has had the biggest opening weekend in U.K. history in more ways than one.
As the movie opened here on the Thursday, it’s opening is technically a four-day weekend total of £34.01M. But if you take into account only Friday, Saturday and Sunday its ACTUAL weekend figures are £24.33M which bests 2011’s ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s preview biggest-ever opening of £23.75M and ‘Spectre‘s opening of £19.98M.
While ‘Spectre‘s opening figure is still technically the biggest opening of all time in the U.K., it’s massive £41.29M opening is a seven-day opening as ‘Spectre‘ opened on the Monday. But ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ is showing bigger opening figures and more traction than ‘Spectre‘ did back in late-October. The movie had the biggest opening day in U.K. history with Thursday takings of £9.68M thanks to midnight screenings, the biggest Saturday in U.K. history (£8.71M) and the biggest Sunday (£8.58M) with a drop of only 1.5% over the weekend indicating that this movie has very strong legs. While the Monday figures don’t count in this round-up, those numbers are in with the movie making £5.83M which is the biggest Monday in U.K. history besting ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban‘s 2004 bank holiday total of £5.05M.
Disney have offered many statistics for the movie’s U.K. opening weekend, including its screen-format shares. 54% of audiences saw the movie in 2D, 36% in 3D and 10% in IMAX. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ made more money in four days than any Michael Bay “Transformers” movie, any five “Spider-Man” movies and big sleeper hits like ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘ and ‘Gravity‘. The movie also had an 83% market-share this weekend; the biggest market share in U.K. film history.
The big question is…now what? The movie will be impacted next weekend as movie theatres will be closed on the Friday (Christmas Day) but ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ will also be hitting more competition in January in the U.K. then it will in America which could prevent it from having as much traction over here. January is normally a dumping ground in the States, but here it’s when all of the Oscar-contenders get released. January will see the release of ‘Room‘, ‘Creed‘, ‘Joy‘, ‘The Danish Girl‘, ‘The Hateful Eight‘, ‘The Big Short‘, ‘Spotlight‘ and ‘The Revenant‘ with comedies ‘Ride Along 2‘ and ‘Dirty Grandpa‘ being released in that month as well. But with the movie out-performing ‘Spectre‘ in the same time-span, the movie should at least match that movie’s current take of £92.79M.
For full context, the five highest grossing movies in U.K. history are;
- ‘Skyfall‘ – £102.9M
- ‘Avatar‘ – £94M
- ‘Spectre‘ – £92.79M
- ‘Titanic‘ – £80.1M
- ‘Toy Story 3‘ – £74M
In the face of the mammoth opening of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ it would look like the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy ‘Sisters‘ did quite well with a £1.22M. However, that number is bolstered by six days of previews before it “opened” on December 18th. If you count the Friday, Saturday and Sunday numbers only, it would have opened in 5th with £481K.
While ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ had a decent hold by only dropping 31% from last weekend, the rest of the holdover titles plummeted. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘ lost all momentum and dropped 60%, ‘Spectre‘ lost 134 cinemas and dropped 63% (meaning it will barely miss out on ‘Avatar‘ at the Number 2 spot of the all-time U.K. box-office unless it gets a miracle second-wind of viewings when all is said and done), ‘Bridge of Spies‘ lost 256 cinemas and dropped 73% and outside the Top 10 ‘Carol‘, ‘The Lady in the Van‘, ‘Krampus‘ and ‘Black Mass‘ dropped 67%, 76%, 78% and 82% respectively.
It wasn’t all bad though. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘ got a December re-release for the 9th year in a row and had its highest chart ranking since 2010. The re-released classic should perform well for another week before fading away for another year. But Bollywood had the alternative hits of the week outside of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ as ‘Dilwale‘s opening of £727K was the biggest Bollywood opening since July’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan‘ and outperformed ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo‘ from last month if you don’t include preview screenings. ‘Bajirao Mastani‘ also found its way in the Top 10 in 7th place with £297K.
But thanks to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ the U.K. box-office has been given a last minute shot in the arm as it’s up 512% from last weekend (the worst weekend of 2015, financially) and is up 146% from the same weekend last year when ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies‘ was in its second week.
Incidentally, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ almost made more in three days than ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies‘ made in three weeks and the latter title became the biggest hit of 2014 in the U.K. It will also be the third movie of 2015 to earn more than £50M at the U.K. box-office (not matching 2012’s record of four films; ‘Skyfall‘, ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘, ‘Marvel Avengers Assemble‘ and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘.
Next weekend will see ‘Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie‘ officially open after two prior weekends of previews with ‘In the Heart of the Sea‘ and ‘Daddy’s Home‘ presumably opening soft in the wake of the juggernaut that is ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘.
Be sure to visit www.trilbee.com in the coming weeks and months where I’ll keep you up to date on just how big the biggest movie in the world will get in the U.K. Once all the numbers are in, I’ll do a special Box-Office post detailing the Top grossing films of the year.
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Posted In: 2015 UK Box-Office
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Posted: 23rd Dec 15