U.K. box office: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ hangs on

Slumdog Millionaire keeps blasting the competition out of the water:

1. Slumdog Millionaire: £2.8 million (3rd week; up 7%)
2. Valkyrie: £1.9 million (NEW)
3. My Bloody Valentine 3-D: £1.2 million (2nd week; drops 12%)
4. Seven Pounds: £1.1 million (2nd week; drops 30%)
5. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: £.99 million (NEW)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Slumdog rose again in its third week, and has now grossed more than £10 million in the U.K., which is huge, certainly for a little film like this, with no stars and no high concept. It beat Tom Cruise this weekend, fer pete’s sake.

Though hardly an arthouse movie, My Bloody Valentine 3-D is, as near as I can determine, technically a limited release in the U.K., since it was playing on only 198 screens, though it did extraordinarily well, thanks to the premium 3-D showings demand: its per-screen average of £5,972 was second only to Slumdog’s £7,406. Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film blog notes that two-thirds of its screens were showing the film in 3-D, though, which did boost its takings. Still, Seven Pounds, playing on twice as many screens, couldn’t beat it.

(Just FYI, Gant is the only other person I can find who is covering the U.K. box office, and he’s doing so from a more informed on-the-ground perspective than I can manage from my perch in New York. So I’m trusting that he knows what he’s talking about.)

Continuing the current trend on both sides of the Atlantic, overall business at the movies was up 17 percent over the same weekend last year. Next week I head to London for 10 days. I don’t know if I’ll actually make it to a movie, but I do intend to keep my ear to the ground and see if I can figure out whether people are escaping to the movies as a way to counteract the terrible economic situation. I’ll keep you apprised.

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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