The Sweeney was out on its tod at the top of box office this weekend. The new Ray Winstone and Ben “Plan B” Drew version of the 70s television favourite opened to £1.5m, which included £433k from Wednesday and Thursday previews. British director Nick Love has not had huge success at the UK box office in the past but this is comfortably his biggest opening, almost tripling his previous best – 2007’s Outlaw (£586k). Outlaw is also Love’s highest grossing film outright, with £1.6m and The Sweeney almost beat that in one weekend.
Charming stop-motion animation ParaNorman 3D opened in second place with £1.4m and would have come out on top had it not been for The Sweeney’s previews. ParaNorman 3D is the second feature film from the American stop-motion animation studio Laika, with their first Coraline released in May 2009. Although it didn’t open as well as Coraline’s £2.4m debut, it’s still a decent start for an animation film outside of the school holidays.
Last week’s top 3, came in third to fifth and are currently engaged in a battle royale to see which will gross the most. After the great weather of the previous weekend all three had great holds with Anna Karenina easing just 7% to £813k and a cume of £2.7m. Lawless was in fourth, falling 19% to £790k and a cume of £2.6m and Dredd 3D was fifth easing 27% to £769k and a cume of £2.7m. If you’re a betting person, I’d put a pony on the Russian aristocrat coming out on top.
In sixth spot was another new entry Hope Springs with £729k. Although it’s a bit less than It’s Complicated’s £1.1m opening, films aimed at an older audience often perform better during the week so distributor Momentum shouldn’t be too disheartened just yet. A couple of other notable occurrences were Brave 3D crossing the £20m mark and The Dark Knight Rises overtaking Casino Royale to become the tenth biggest film in UK cinema history with £55.8m. Overall the box office was up 26% from last weekend and down 8% from the same weekend last year when Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was released.
Across the pond, Resident Evil: Retribution 3D opened to an estimated $21.1m and although it’s lower than the last Resident Evil film ($26.7m), it’s higher than the 2002 original ($17.7m). The audience was 64% male, and 55% were 25 years of age or older. In second place was the 3D re-release of Pixar favourite Finding Nemo with $17.5m, and 56% of its audience was female.
The Possession had occupied the top spot for the previous two weeks but this weekend eased 38% to $5.8m, for a cume of $41.2m. Lawless fell just 30% to $4.2m, bringing its total to $30.1m and ParaNorman 3D rounded out the top five with $3m for a total of $49.3m. The highly anticipated drama The Master opened to a huge $730k from just five locations for a location average of $146k. That’s the highest location average ever for a live-action movie (with one strange exception which is not really worth going into – trust me on that).