Peter Rabbit thumps Pacific Rim: Uprising at the UK box office – The Guardian (blog)


The winner: Peter Rabbit

Easily resisting the challenge of mega-budget sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising, Peter Rabbit was a convincing winner at the box office in its second week. Takings fell by a reasonable 37% from a stellar opening, with £4.6m over the weekend period and £13.6m after 10 days. The good news for distributor Sony is that the Easter school holiday is still to come.

For comparison, Paddington 2 stood at £16.9m after two weekends of play, while Pixar’s Coco had reached £8.17m. Totals so far for those two films are £42.6m and £18.1m respectively. Peter Rabbit should earn something between those two figures by the end of its run.

The runner-up: Pacific Rim: Uprising

With sequels, distributors hope to grow the theatrical box office, appealing to audiences who caught up with the original film on home-entertainment platforms. That happened with Marvel franchises such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy. But sometimes the outcome is different. In 2003, for example, total UK box office for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (£5.30m) was less than half the lifetime number for the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (£12.8m) two years earlier.

In July 2013, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim debuted with £2.19m in the UK on its way to a total of £8.39m. Based on those numbers, audiences weren’t crying out for a sequel, but the film was huge in other markets, notably China, where it grossed $112m.

Now Pacific Rim: Uprising arrives, with del Toro moving into the producer’s chair to make way for new director Steven S DeKnight. UK debut is an unexciting £1.66m, which is 25% down on the Pacific Rim opening number.

The disappointment: A Wrinkle in Time

In the US, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved children’s book, debuted with $33m, and after three weekends has reached a decent $74m. An equivalent opening number in the UK market would be £3.3m.

Such an outcome was never realistically on the cards. L’Engle’s book isn’t so well known in the UK, and cast names including Oprah Winfrey are not quite as meaningful as they are in the US. Still, Disney gave it a good try, bringing Winfrey to Britain, alongside fellow cast members Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling and director Ava DuVernay.

A Wrinkle in Time debuted in the UK with a fairly soft £656,000 from 502 cinemas. Disney will be hoping the film can deliver better numbers during the Easter holiday.

The single-site monster: Blade Runner

Secret Cinema is back with its annual blockbuster presentation of a classic title, and this year it’s Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Takings at a single London venue (£230,000 at the weekend; £349,000 including Wednesday and Thursday) are enough to earn the title eighth place in the chart.

Last year, Secret Cinema began its run a little earlier, in mid-February, with Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! Beginning with £197,000 for the weekend, and £377,000 for the week, it reached £4.48m by the end of its run. This year’s Secret Cinema runs until 8 July.

The marathon runner: The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman cracked £40m in the UK on Sunday and remains in the Top 5 in its 13th week–a remarkable achievement.

Weekend takings of £753,000 brings to an end an extraordinary run that saw the Hugh Jackman movie earn £1m-plus on 12 consecutive weekends. This is a feat that eluded both Avatar and Mamma Mia! However, in 1997, breakout comedy The Full Monty achieved a remarkable 13 weekends at £1m-plus, while Titanic equalled The Greatest Showman with 12 consecutive sessions at £1m-plus (and two more when it was rereleased in 2012).

The market

Thanks to the lack of commercially potent new titles, the overall market declines 26% from the previous session, and it’s also 36% down on the equivalent weekend in 2017, when Beauty and the Beast delivered stonking numbers in its second week of play. Box office has been substantially down on last year’s equivalent numbers for all four weekends in March so far. Hopes are riding on Steven Spielberg’s Reader Player One, which arrives on Thursday. Alternatives include US comedy Blockers and Wes Anderson animation Isle of Dogs, which enjoyed successful previews at the weekend.

Top 10 films, 23-25 March

1. Peter Rabbit, £4,595,239 from 627 sites. Total: £13,639,088 (two weeks)

2. Pacific Rim: Uprising, £1,655,186 from 505 sites (new)

3. Black Panther, £1,308,281 from 497 sites. Total: £44,892,064 (six weeks)

4. Tomb Raider, £1,186,436 from 587 sites. Total: £5,472,541 (two weeks)

5. The Greatest Showman, £753,420 from 472 sites. Total: £40,112,949 (13 weeks)

6. A Wrinkle in Time, £655,542 from 502 sites (new)

7. Unsane, £478,451 from 346 sites (new)

8. Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Secret Cinema), £349,492 from one site (new)

9. Red Sparrow, £297,675 from 326 sites. Total: £5,907,449 (four weeks)

10. Game Night, £295,869 from 333 sites. Total: £4,266,893 (four weeks)

Other openers

Sajjan Singh Rangroot, £82,663 from 34 sites

Kobieta Sukcesu, £60,690 from 82 sites

Hichki, £58,356 from 37 sites

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, £44,911 from 29 sites

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, £42,836 from 51 sites

I Got Life!, £39,876 from 34 sites

Exhibition on Screen: Van Gogh 2018, £36,043 (including £29,167 previews) from 15 sites

Proud Mary, £26,291 from 103 sites

The Third Murder, £9,171 from 10 sites

Have a Nice Day, £7,769 from 11 sites

Gholam, £1,266 from two sites

Crowhurst, £322 from two sites

Thanks to comScore. All figures relate to takings in UK and Ireland cinemas.



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