Sequels monopolised the top of the UK box office this weekend as the top three places all went to high profile franchises. The number one spot was taken by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted 3D with £6m (including £2.4m from previews). When the previews are removed it shows the extremely consistent performance of the series. The first Madagascar opened with £3.6m in 2005 and Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa opened with £3.9m in 2008. Both those films went on to a final total in excess of £22m.
Second place was possessed by found footage chiller, Paranormal Activity 4 with £2.5m (including £806k from previews). It’s a solid start but comfortably the lowest of the series, with PA2 opening with £3.8m, PA1 with £3.6m and PA3 with £3.4m. The low production costs of the series though has ensured that a fifth instalment is on the way in time for Halloween 2013. In third spot, Taken 2 continued its remarkable run with a further £2.3m taking its cume to £18.6m. Although it’s likely to take a hit with the release of Skyfall on Friday, it’s possible that The Bourne Ultimatum’s final total of £24m is within reach.
Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie 3D made a slightly disappointing nationwide debut in seventh spot with £742k (including £156k from previews). Including its LFF & IMAX preview grosses, it has a cume of £815k. That’s some way off last month’s stop motion marvel ParaNorman 3D (£1.4m) and also lower than Tim Burton’s last animation, 2005’s The Corpse Bride (£1.1m). Another new entry in tenth spot was the recipient of the London Film Festival best first feature award, Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Finding comparatives for this title is extremely hard because it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before but rave reviews inspired Beasts… to a £182k debut from just 28 locations.
One other notable performer was Looper which crossed the £9m mark, putting it on a par with modern sci-fi classic, District 9. £10m is now in its sights, which proves the public love original brain teasers. Overall the box office was up 56% from last weekend and 27% from the same weekend last year when Contagion and Paranormal Activity 3 were released.
In the US, unlike the UK, Paranormal Activity 4 managed to snare the top spot with $29m. However, like the UK, this is down on the most recent entries in the franchise with PA3 opening with $52.6m and PA2 with $40.7m. In second spot, Ben Affleck’s Argo had a great hold, falling just 15% to $16.4m and after 10 days has grossed $43.2m. Taken 2 grossed $13.2m for a cume of $106m . In fourth spot, Hotel Transylvania 3D also had a strong hold, easing 22% to $13m for a new cume of $118.5m and in fifth spot Alex Cross opened to a disappointing $11.4m. The audience for Alex Cross was 60% women and 68% over the age of 35.
|Title||Weekly Total||Cumulative Total|
|1 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted 3D||£6,030,904||£6,030,904|
|2 Paranormal Activity 4||£2,544,701||£2,544,701|
|3 Taken 2||£2,264,856||£18,551,087|
|4 Hotel Transylvania 3D||£1,023,722||£3,375,280|
|6 Frankenweenie 3D||£741,683||£815,423|
|8 The Perks Of Being A Wallflower||£213,091||£1,950,094|
|9 Beasts Of The Southern Wild||£181,801||£181,801|
|10 Brave 3D||£176,827||£21,930,374|
Source: Rentrak EDI