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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

U.K. box office: ‘Star Trek’ beams up

Geeks are ascendant over the pond, too:

1. Star Trek: £5.95 million (NEW)
2. Coraline: £2.4 million (NEW)
3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: £2.2 million (2nd week; drops 67%)
4. Hannah Montana: The Movie: £1.3 million (2nd week; drops 36%)
5. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: £.79 million (2nd week; drops 19%)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Trek did not open as well in the U.K. as Wolverine did the week before. In almost exactly the same proportion as it did not open as strongly in North America: about 88 percent as well. Are we geeks that consistent even across national borders? Perhaps we are. Wolverine’s second-week drop was comparable on both sides of the Atlantic: 67 percent in the U.K. versus 69 percent in North America.

Next up: We see whether Trek’s drop — or rise — this weekend is the same in the U.K. as it is in the U.S. With Angels & Demons opening on both sides of the Atlantic this weekend, too, it’ll be the rare chance to do a simultaneous comparison of two big movies playing at the same time in both North America and the U.K.

Trek’s opening was still way higher than the previous Trek movies in the U.K. — also as it was in North America — as Charles Gant at the Guardian Film blog notes. Gant also makes an wowser of a comment on Coraline’s less than stellar debut, except when you look at it like this:

Coraline took more than £1.7m of its tally from 171 3D screens, as against £711,000 from 278 cinemas projecting in 2D – which translates into respective screen averages of £10,000 and £2,557.

Even accounting for higher 3D ticket prices, that’s a huge premium for 3D screenings, and not like anything we’ve seen in North America so far… though usually the difference in the number of venues showing 3D over 2D is much larger in North America. Still, if Hollywood is looking for a way to draw more people in to see a film (instead of letting those folks wait for DVD), 3D is clearly a way to do it.

I’m very sad to see State of Play sinking at a similar rate it did in North America, too: it fell to No. 6, taking in £.59 million, a drop of 40 percent in its third week. The movie fell 46 percent in its third week in the U.S. and Canada, too. Looks like grownup movies are doomed all over the English-speaking world.

But — woo-hoo, I guess — overall business was up 164 percent over the same weekend last year. Because of science fiction and superheroes. Which can be grownup. They just haven’t been so much lately.

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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