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U.K. box office: ‘Nanny McPhee’ scolds ‘Alice’

And Sandra Bullock dropkicks previous football flicks:

1. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang: £2.6 million (NEW)
2. Alice in Wonderland: £2.5 million (4th week; drops 48%)
3. The Blind Side: £1.3 million (NEW)
4. Shutter Island: £1.1 million (3rd week; drops 37%)
5. The Bounty Hunter: £.99 million (2nd week; drops 52%)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
I wonder why Universal is holding Nanny McPhee 2 till August in North America. The slate of kiddie movies isn’t any more crowded here than it is in the U.K… but then again, the first film opened better in the U.K. than it did in the U.S. and Canada, and this one is getting nice reviews — it’s 87 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (with only British and Australian critics checking in so far). Is there transatlantic word of mouth? Maybe that’s what Universal is hoping for…

Alice continues to do better in the U.K. than in North America, with a cumulative take of £34.8 million after last weekend, compared with $293 million in North America.

According to Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film blog (he’s got better historical data than I have access to), The Blind Side had the best U.K. opening by a long shot for a movie about American football, which tend not to do so well in the U.K. (for understandable reasons). Sandra Bullock’s Oscar win and overall appeal surely gave a big boost to the film.

I’m totally psyched for I Love You Phillip Morris (opening in limited release in the U.S. and Canada on April 30), but after debuting in the U.K. last week at No. 4, it plunged 65 percent this past weekend, down to No. 8. I hope that’s not a bad sign. Maybe it’s just too much of a departure for Jim Carrey fans?

There was quite a to-do after the weekend before last over how the Uma Thurman film Motherhood earned only £88 over its opening — the Times called it “the mother of all flops.” The film is not very good, but far worse films have earned millions; the Guardian has some background on the marketing and promotion of the film, which may be to blame.

But now, it’s happened again. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell earned only £54 this past weekend, its first in the U.K. Tucker Max may be even less well known on that side of the Atlantic than he is on this side, but still: that means that only six people paid for a ticket to see this movie over the entire weekend. Yikes.

Overall, the box office was down 19 percent from the same weekend last year.

[numbers via UK Film Council]


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