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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

U.K. box office: ‘Quantum of Solace’ still holding strong

It’s still all about James Bond at the British box office:

1. Quantum of Solace: £2.9 million (4th week; drops 44%)
2. Body of Lies: £.99 million (NEW)
3. My Best Friend’s Girl: £.91 million (NEW)
4. High School Musical 3: Senior Year: £.6 million (5th week; drops 38%)
5. Zack and Miri Make a Porno: £.45 million (2nd week; drops 44%)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Quantum of Solace is holding much stronger in the U.K. than it is in the U.S., where it fell 60 percent last weekend, only its second here. Then again, its U.K. competition wasn’t giving it much of a challenge this weekend. I like Body of Lies, but I’m in a minority here, and it opened poorly in the U.S. too. And Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film Blog notes that the Dane Cook comedy at No. 3 was not even screened for critics in England, that’s how little faith the studio had in it.

The rest of the U.K. slate looks like it’s just treading water in Bond’s dangerous wake. Though Choke and Blindness made really terrible debuts in the U.K. this weekend, for two, earning, respectively, £59,330 in 45 cinemas and £38,609 in 50 cinemas. Bond might just get knocked off the top spot next weekend, when Changeling opens, though that probably depends on how big a draw Angelina Jolie is… and how big a draw is the prospect of seeing her in what could be another Oscar-nominated performance…

The weekend’s one bright spot: Burn After Reading has now become the Coen Brothers’ biggest British hit to date, with a cumulative take after six weeks of just under £7.5million. (That’s via Gant at the Guardian, too.)

Per-screen averages continue to be dominated by mainstream films — the opposite of what typically happens in North America — although again, like last week, slightly less than in other recent weeks:

1. Quantum of Solace: £5,474 at each of 527 cinemas
2. Dostana: £4,155 (43 cinemas)
3. Kisses: £3,092 (12 cinemas)
4. My Best Friend’s Girl: £2,574 (354 cinemas)
5. Yuvvraaj: £2,561 (44 cinemas)
6. Body of Lies: £2,524 (393 cinemas)
7. The Dark Knight: £2,477 (9 cinemas)

And the per-screens drop off pretty quickly after that point. I’m keeping an eye on these numbers to see whether this is the way the British box office usually looks, or whether I just happened to start looking at the numbers at a moment when the numbers were fluking.

But again with Dark Knight popping up out of nowhere (this happened a few weeks ago, too) — it was up almost 400 percent over last week! Weird.

[numbers via UK Film Council]



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