Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D defied the critics to top the box office this weekend with £1.5m (including £404k from previews). That compares very favourably with the tonally similar Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which achieved £1.1m (including £375k from previews) in June of last year. A sizeable 90.7% of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D gross was from 3D presentations.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Pt 2 had the strongest second weekend for a Twilight film with £5.3m taking its cume to £27m after ten days. At the same point, Breaking Dawn Pt 1 had grossed £23.3m, which suggests that Breaking Dawn Pt 2 will finish a few million higher than that film’s final total of £31.1m.
On week four of Bond-watch, Skyfall is up to £89.6m and it is without question now a case of when, not if, it’ll pass Avatar’s final total of £94m to become the highest grossing film in UK history. The next question is whether it can reach £100m, a total that was almost unthinkable four weeks ago. Before the weekend it was £14.2m away from £100m and it grossed a further £3.8m over the weekend. Back in January, War Horse opened with just over £3.9m and went on to reach £18.6m. If Skyfall performs similarly, it should comfortably pass £100m.
The highest new entry, in third place was yuletide sequel, Nativity: Danger In The Manger. With £1.6m (including £18k from previews) it doubled the performance of the first Nativity film in 2009 (£786k). We can now expect it to easily pass that films final total of £5.3m. Fourth place was taken by another new entry, exhilarating rom-com, Silver Linings Playbook with £1.3m (including £292k from previews). For a film that has a very different feel to other romantic comedies, it’s tough to find a comparison but Love And Other Drugs was another edgy star led comedy and that opened with £1.6m in December 2010.
The film we’ve all been waiting for is finally here and it didn’t disappoint. Skyfall opened with £20.2m, the highest opening weekend of all time for a 2D release (Friday – Sunday) and the second highest of any film, behind 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 3D (£23.7m). That’s the highest opening for a Bond film, comfortably beating Quantum of Solace (£15.4m) and Casino Royale (£13.4m). It’s also by some distance the highest opening of 2012 beating The Dark Knight Rises (£14.4m) and Avengers Assemble (£13.2m) In fact, Skyfall had taken more than Avengers Assemble’s entire weekend after just Friday and Saturday (£13.5m).
Saturday was Skyfall’s most productive day grossing £7.2m, which is the second biggest Saturday performance of all time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 3D (£7.6m). However, Harry Potter had the extra ticket price that 3D entails and distributor Sony are proclaiming Skyfall now has the all-time Saturday attendance record (source: Hollywood Reporter). Skyfall also made up a whopping 75.2% of the top 15’s box office and its location average was £34.4k, over £10k more than The Dark Knight Rises’ opening weekend location average (£24.2k).
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.
For the second weekend running, Liam Neeson took the UK box office by the scruff of the neck as Taken 2 delivered an impressive £3.7m. The Istanbul-set actioner has now grossed a considerable £14.5m after eleven days and with another instalment surely on the cards, Neeson’s dog must be getting nervous. A great comparison for Taken 2 would be The Bourne Ultimatum, which opened with a similarly impressive £6.6m but grossed a much lower £2.9m on its second weekend on its way to £24m. With that in mind, a final total of £20m-plus for Taken 2 looks almost guaranteed and considering the first Taken only grossed £6.4m, it demonstrates just how much impact the first film made on DVD and television.
In second spot, the highest new entry was Adam Sandler animation Hotel Transylvania 3D with £1.7m. Distributor, Sony Pictures, have released an autumnal animation twice before (not including last year’s Arthur Christmas) with 2006’s Open Season (£1.7m) and 2009’s Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (£1.6m) and Hotel Transylvania 3D has outperformed them both. Third spot was taken by Sinister, which had a terrific hold, easing just 12% to £1.3m for a cume of £3.7m. Distributor Momentum are obviously using their 2011 horror hit Insidious as a template and that had a similarly strong second weekend hold, falling just 9% on its way to a final total of £7.1m.
This weeks film schedule updates:
- Madagascar 3 is now called Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
- Margin Call has now been added to the schedule, releasing 13 January 2012
- Woman In The Fifth has now been added to the schedule, releasing 17 February 2012
- One For The Money has now been added to the schedule, releasing 24 February 2012
- The Decoy Bride has now been added to the schedule, releasing 09 March 2012
The film schedule has been updated to reflect these changes.