UK Weekend Box Office (Nov 20th – Nov 22nd)
Katniss Everdeen misses the mark but does enough to knock the wind from ‘Spectre‘s sails, other new releases opened soft and we also had one of the biggest flops of the year. All this and more happened at the U.K. box-office last weekend.
While Lionsgate have drawn much criticism for splitting the final book in “The Hunger Games” trilogy into two movies, there’s usually a financial incentive for the decision. Usually, the final instalment sees an increase in the box-office takings, at least in the U.K.. For example, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1‘ opened to £18.31M whereas there was an increase with ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘ with £23.75M (a 30% increase). And ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1‘ opened with £13.91M whereas Part 2 opened with £15.85M (14% increase). It’s in the face of these recent comparisons that ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘ disappoints as it opened with £9.26M with an additional £2M in previews for a total opening of £11.26M. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1‘ opened with £10.32M and an additional £2.33M in previews for a total of £12.65M (an 11% decrease).
£11.24M is still a strong opening for four days, however. The first ‘The Hunger Games‘ in 2012 opened with £4.90M and ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ in 2013 opened with £12.18M. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘ gave the U.K. the 7th biggest opening weekend of the year, whereas Part 1 had the biggest opening in 2014.
While Katniss underperformed, it was enough competition to give ‘Spectre‘ its biggest dip to date at 51%. After 28 days of release, ‘Spectre’ with £84.3M is barely behind ‘Skyfall‘ with £85.8M in the same timespan. ‘Spectre‘ may not overtake ‘Skyfall’ as the highest grossing film in U.K. history, though it has overtaken ‘Titanic‘ (£80.1M) to become the 3rd highest grossing with ‘Avatar‘ (£94M) being the next entry. With ‘Bridge of Spies‘, ‘Black Mass‘ and other high profile films on the horizon, ‘Spectre‘ may have reached its limit.
But suffering the smallest drop in the Top 10 was ‘The Lady in the Van‘ only falling 29% in its second weekend with a total gross of £6.44M thanks to strong weekday performances which is standard for this movie’s target demographic. The last Alan Bennett theatrical adaptation earned £4.34M in its lifetime so this is a substantial improvement.
In terms of drops from last week’s holdovers ‘Steve Jobs‘ had the second biggest with 55% as the former Apple CEO biopic has failed to find a substantial audience in the U.K. The biggest drop was the Bollywood hit ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo‘ which was to be expected as it mainly found its audience last weekend due to Diwali falling last Wednesday (“The Festival of Lights” in India).
Interestingly enough, the box-office figures are in for the National Theatre Live’s production of ‘Hamlet‘ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and it has actually performed better than the big-screen adaptation of ‘Macbeth‘ starring Michael Fassbender, just barely with grosses of £2.805M and £2.802M respectively. Considering that the production budget of ‘Macbeth‘ would be significantly higher than the theatrical staging and broadcasting of ‘Hamlet‘, this can be considered a huge win for the National Theatre.
In terms of other new releases, everything opened soft with ‘The Dressmaker‘ only managing £235K which is a disappointment considering the strong U.K. marketing. Also, ‘The Perfect Guy‘, which has had practically no marketing presence in the U.K. and lost all the momentum from its U.S. release back in September only opened with £102K, though it only played in 102 theatres.
The biggest flop of the week, however, cannot be found in the Top 10. Or Top 20, or 30. You have to go all the way down to No. 35 where you’ll find the Morgan Freeman thriller ‘Momentum‘ which opened in 7 locations and earned a whopping £46 with a per-theatre average of £6.5. That’s less than one movie ticket per location. With a production budget of $20M and a strong marketing push including illuminated posters on the London Underground, this is not a good result in any way, shape or form. For crying out loud, ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie‘ movie performed better in the ONE theatre it played in last weekend with £63!
But thanks to the arrival of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘, takings are up 25% from last week, but 5% down from the equivalent weekend a year ago where Part 1 opened as well as ‘Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey’. Next weekend is very competitive with ‘Black Mass‘, ‘Bridge of Spies‘, ‘Carol‘ and ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ opening. While ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ will probably win out of the four, it might not be enough to take the top spot but it’s a good weekend to go to the movies since all tastes will surely be catered for.
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Posted In: 2015 UK Box-Office
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Posted: 27th Nov 15