Just an FYI for those of you joining our story already in progress: the reason I don’t get to the British box office till so late in the week is because the U.K. number don’t become publicly available till Wednesday, unlike the North America numbers, of which estimates come out on Sunday and actuals on Monday. And then I get to it as soon as I can afterward.
So here’s what last weekend looked like at British multiplexes:
1. Slumdog Millionaire: £1.7 million
2. Gran Torino: £1.351 million (2nd week; up 306%)
3. The Unborn: £1.300 million (NEW)
4. Bolt: £1.299 million (3rd week; drops 57%)
5. Confessions of a Shopaholic: £1.290 (2nd week; drops 55%)
(actual numbers, not estimates)
In its eighth week in release in the U.K., Slumdog is back up at No. 1 after its near-sweep at the Oscars. Amazing.
The overall box office is up phenomenally in the U.K. just as it is in North America — up 38 percent over the same weekend last year — but new movies were mostly ignored in favor of older fare. The Unborn opened relatively well, but The International debuted at No. 6 with a paltry £.76 million. That was better, however, than other newcomer New in Town, which debuted at No. 10 with a pathetic £.44 million, with a per-screen average worse than The Dark Knight, in its 32nd week in release and already available on DVD.
As has typically been the case since I started watching the U.K. numbers, it’s one of the wide releases with the best per-screen overall: Gran Torino’s £4,445. (It’s enormous percentage jump over last week is the result of it jumping from 62 cinemas the previous week to 304 this past weekend.) Close behind was The Unborn with a per-screen of £4,364, but then comes the French film The Class, with £4,140 (though it was at only 35 cinemas).
[numbers via UK Film Council]