U.K. box office: ‘Terminator Salvation’ biggest opening of the year

Machines rule:

1. Terminator Salvation: £6.9 million (NEW)
2. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: £2.4 million (3rd week; up 18%)
3. Drag Me to Hell: £1.3 million (2nd week; drops 33%)
4. Angels & Demons: £1.1 million (4th week; up 2%)
5. Star Trek: £.85 million (5th week; drops 2%)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Terminator Salvation enjoyed the biggest opening of 2009 so far in the U.K., and a far better opening that it had in North America: a comparable opening would have been somewhere around £5.2 million. And it looks even better when you add in the fact that its U.K. debut, while expanded with Wednesday and Thursday previews, did not occur over a holiday weekend, as its debut in the U.S. did (that weekend was holiday-free in Canada).

Overall business continues to be way up in the U.K.: up 65 percent over the same weekend last year, and up a whopping 94 percent over just the previous weekend. Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film blog attributes this to the weather — last weekend was rainy in the U.K., driving people into cinemas, while the weekend before was gorgeous, keeping people away. Whatever the case, it’s amazing for so many movies to maintain their business or even see it jump; even Star Trek, in its fifth week, was down only 2 percent (I generally stop looking the week-over-week percentage changes after the first month of a film’s release, but this was worth noting).

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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