Box Office: 1917 sets a marker for 2020

    Author Phil Jones

The Weekend Round-up

  • 1917 always looked like the first blockbuster to open in 2020 and so it proved as it started its run with an imposing £7.4m (including £100k from previews). That’s a hugely impressive figure and we haven’t seen an opening of that size in January since Les Miserables erupted with £8.1m in 2013. Thematically, a more appropriate comparison would be Dunkirk, which opened with £10.1m in July 2017 and finished its run with £56.8m. Two years ago, Darkest Hour opened on the same January weekend with £4.1m and finished with £24.1m, so with the major awards ceremonies still a few weeks away, 1917 should be looking at a total north of £30m. 
  • Little Women came in fifth on last weekend’s chart and this weekend it’s up to second. The all-star literary adaptation added £2m, a drop of just 23%, which takes its total to £13.2m and it has already grossed more than two of January 2018’s big awards hopefuls, Stan and Ollie (£10.6m) and Mary Queen Of Scots (£9.2m). Only The Favourite last year from awards season grossed more with £17m, and Little Women looks like it might have the stamina to top it.  
  • After three weekends in the top spot, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker fell to third. The box office behemoth tumbled 59% - the biggest drop in the top 15, to £1.8m and it has now banked £54.9m, still almost £30m short of The Last Jedi’s final total of £82.3m. 
  • Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen posted the best hold in the top 15 this weekend, falling just 22% to £1.7m. That takes its total after 12 days in cinemas to £6m and it has already overtaken Ritchie’s last non-Aladdin title, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (£4.9m) and will this week overtake The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (£6.5m).
  • Jumanji: The Next Level completed the top five, adding £1.7m over the weekend, a drop of 45% from last weekend That was enough to take it over the £30m mark and it now sits on £31m. It won’t get there but it’s closing in on Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’s final total of £38.5m. 
  • Outside of the top five, Jojo Rabbit is now up to £4.3m in sixth, while Spies In Disguise is up to £5.2m in eighth.
  • Overall the box office is down 17% from last weekend and up 33% from the same weekend last year when the top films were Stan And Ollie, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns and Aquaman.

Next Weekend

  • Bad Boys For Life is a third film in the action franchise that started in 1995. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as Lowrey and Marcus Burnett who reunite for one last ride.
  • Bombshell is a true-life drama about a group of women who take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network. It has been nominated for three BAFTAs, including Charlize Theron’s performance as Megyn Kelly. 
  • Just Mercy stars Michael B. Jordan as world-renowned civil rights defence attorney Bryan Stevenson who works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson co-star. 
  • Waves is a drama that traces the journey of a suburban family - led by a well-intentioned but domineering father - as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss.
  • A Hidden Life is the latest drama from Terrence Malick (The Tree Of Life). August Diehl plays Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.

The Buzz

  • Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn is the next blockbuster to hit cinemas and is the first DC Comics film to be released since the remarkable success of Joker. Margot Robbie returns as Harley Quinn after her scene-stealing performance in Suicide Squad. The new trailer was released last week and has been very warmly received by all at DCM. It’s in cinemas on 7 February and you can watch the new trailer here:

Across The Pond

  • 1917 topped box office in the US too, opening with $36.5m. With 10 Oscar nominations in the bag, it should get well past $100m. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker came in second, falling 57% to $15.1m, which takes its total to $478.2m. Jumanji: The Next Level finished in third, adding $14m for a new total of $257.1m. Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek comedy Like A Boss opened in fourth with $10m, while Just Mercy expanded to more theatres over the weekend and came in fifth, also with $10m.