Box Office: Clown prince of the UK box office

    Author Phil Jones

The Weekend Round-up

  • Joker was not clowning around in its second weekend, dropping just 22% and adding £9.7m over the weekend, passing the £30m mark after only 20 days on release. This is 119% ahead of Venom at the same point of release (£13.7m).
  • Abominable opened in second place with £2.1m, which is the sixth-highest animated opening of the year, sandwiched between Wonder Park (£1.5m) and The Secret Life of Pets 2 (£3.4m). The PostTrak Kids audience (aged 6-12) rated Abominable 5 stars out of 5; 96% rated it Great or Very Good, the joint third-highest score recorded across all 61 family films tracked to date. Adults were almost equally positive, rating it 4.5 stars .
  • Gemini Man opened in third place with a 3-day gross of £1.6m, rising to £1.7 when Thursday HFR 3D previews are included. Earlier this year, Alita: Battle Angel also pushed technical boundaries and opened with a 3-day gross of £2.4m (£3.1m including Wed/Thurs previews). After Earth, starring Will Smith and his other clone, opened with £2.2m in 2013, while previous Will Smith-starrer Focus opened at £1.9m in 2015. Overall, PostTrak audiences gave Gemini Man a score of 3.5 stars, with women giving 4 stars. The audience was relatively young compared to other Action titles, with 24% aged 13-17; this should ensure a strong hold into next week’s school holidays. 
  • Clang clang clang went the trolley taking UK cinemagoers to see Judy over the weekend, dropping to fourth place but falling only 28%. It is now on a total of £4.7m.  This is just 5% behind comparative Mary Queen Of Scots at the same point in its run (£4.9m).
  • Downton Abbey came in at No.5, passing £25m and overtaking Rocketman to become the top drama release of 2019.
  • Outside of the top five, Chris Morris’ The Day Shall Come opened at number 8, with an opening total of £169k including previews. This is down from Morris’ last directorial effort Four Lions, which opened wit £600k in 2010.

The overall box office is down 10% from last weekend, ranking 12th out of the latest 52 weekends. It’s down 3% versus the same weekend last year when six titles made over £1m, led by Week 2 holdovers of A Star Is BornVenom and Johnny English Strikes Again. The top new release was the excellent First Man (£2.3m, no previews). YTD 2019 box office is now just 2% behind 2018, the most positive deficit since early August.

Next Weekend

  • Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is the latest work by Aardman Animations. When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her. 
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the sequel to 2014’s Maleficent. When an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be family.
  • Official Secrets stars Kiera Knightley, Matt Smith and Ralph Fiennes. Truth is the first casualty of war. Official Secrets reveals the untold true and gripping story behind courageous journalist, Katharine Gun who put her life and career on the line to showcase the lies of the government and change modern history forever.

The Buzz

Portrait of a Lady on Fire played at the London Film Festival last week, and is in my opinion a forerunner for film of the year. But don’t just take my word for it – The Independent gave the film the full five stars, with Leslie Felperin writing in the Hollywood Reporter “Not a moment in Portrait of a Lady on Fire is wasted, which suits a story about lovers without a moment to lose.” These sentiments are echoed by Stephaine Zacharek in TIME Magazine, who writes “It's a great example of how a well-told story, with vivid characters, can seep right into your bones and keep you thinking for days afterward-and the pleasure felt while watching it isn't negligible either.”

Across The Pond

Joker kept its place atop the US box office in its second weekend, and is now on a cumulative total of $192.7m. The Addams Family opened in second place with $30m, with Gemini Man another new entry in third place, opening with $20.5m. Abominable dropped two places to fourth in its third weekend, adding $6m, and the top five was completed by Downton Abbey, which is now on a running total of $82m.