U.K. box office: ‘Titans’ and ‘Dragon’ lead a fantastical weekend

But 3D isn’t necessary to kick ass:

1. Clash of the Titans: £5.7 million (NEW)
2. How to Train Your Dragon: £4.8 million (NEW)
3. Kick-Ass: £3.9 million (NEW)
4. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang: £2.6 million (2nd week; up 1 percent)
5. Alice in Wonderland: £1.3 million

(actual numbers, not estimates)
Just looking at these numbers — all of the top 5 over £1 million, and in fact all of the top 5 counting down from more than £5 million — I figured that this must surely be one of the biggest weekends ever at the U.K. box office, and surely one of the weekends where the love was spread so relatively evenly among the top films.

Actually, though, it’s only the second best weekend over the past 12 months (the U.K. box office has been even hotter than the North American one in recent months). But it’s still a notable moment, because — as Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film blog points out — this is the first time in the U.K. that two new films have been competing for 3D screens (which still number less than they do, comparatively speaking, in North America). And Alice still managed to cling to some 3D screens. Perhaps the bounty of 3D films, which audiences on both sides of the Atlantic clearly love, helped boost attendance.

As far as records go, however, Kick-Ass managed the biggest third-place takings ever. Except included in that £3.9 million figure are ticket sales from public sneak previews prior to the official opening last Friday. But that’s become standard these days (counting those previews, which happen quite frequently), so take from that what you will.

There was some question how well The Blind Side would do in the U.K., since movies about American football don’t seem to translate. But it seems that Sandra Bullock’s appeal is keeping the film afloat: It dropped only 24 percent over its second weekend, dropping to No. 6 and earning a little over £1 million. And perhaps the fact that it was the only relatively adult movie of recent vintage had something to do with it — it was, it seems, good counterprogramming to the kiddie- and geek-heavy top 5.

Obviously Robert Pattinson is going to have the same troubles at home as he’d had in the U.S. and Canada: Twi-hards just aren’t that interested in him when he’s not playing a sparkly vampire. Remember Me opened in the U.K. down at No. 7, earning just a little under £1 million (£.987 million, to be more precise). Maybe if he was in 3D he’d have better luck…

Gant reminds me, too, that Easter Monday is a bank holiday in the U.K.. These figures do not include Monday takings (and I don’t have access to those numbers), but they boost the weekend quite considerably. Even without Monday, though, the weekend was up 109 percent over the previous weekend, and up 112 percent over the same weekend last year.

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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