U.K. box office: ‘A Christmas Carol’ not so jolly

Probably the Brits were even more pissed about the trashing of Dickens:

1. A Christmas Carol: £1.9 million (NEW)
2. Michael Jackson’s This Is It: £1.4 million (2nd week; drops 52%)
3. Up: £1.3 million
4. The Men Who Stare at Goats: £1.2 million (NEW)
5. The Fourth Kind: £.85 million (NEW)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Oh boy: The latest theme-park attraction from Robert Zemeckis opened even worse in the U.K. than it did in North America. We could have expected a debut of around £3 million, given the $30 million figure for the U.S. and Canada, but less than £2 million is pretty bad. And what’s that second-week drop for This Is It? So much for sure things.

After a fantastic second weekend over which it jumped 2 percent, Fantastic Mr. Fox dropped out of the top 5 this past weekend, dropping 49 percent to land at No. 6. Still, it’s taken in almost £7 million in its three weeks, which sets the performance bar high: no Wes Anderson movie has grossed anywhere near $70 million over the entire course of its North American run, which would be a comparable take. Can this one do that well? We’ll start seeing this weekend.

Bright Star debuted last weekend in the U.K. as a limited release, but it couldn’t beat An Education in its second week, even though the latter film was on fewer screens. An Education, at No. 9 overall, took in £283,080 on 100 screens, while Bright Star could muster only £207,881 on 118 screens, for a spot at No. 11.

Ignominious: 9 plunged a whopping 82 percent in its second week, earning only £84,753 to clock in at No. 15. It hasn’t done fantastically well in North America, but its takings so far of a little over $31 million are at least respectable, especially considering that it cost only $30 million to produce, which is nothing for an animated film.

Overall business was down 31 percent over the same weekend last year, continuing the trend in the U.K. in recent weeks. Not many folks are heading to the movies. Maybe if there was something they really wanted to see…

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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