Picking apart the UK's Weekly Box Office (Week of 27 April 2014)


Pouring over Charles Gant's weekly Guardian column, and the latest figures from Launching Films, what can be said about what went down and up during the last week in the UK flickerhouses?

Well, its been a month dominated once more by the Marvel Comics superhero movie machine, with Amazing Spider Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (reviewed here) both still in the top 5. It should be noted though that these two superhero comics adaptations hail from different film studios despite having the same licensor- Marvel Comics having foolishly relinquished the film rights to Spidey to Sony/Columbia some time ago. Good luck getting them back: when the rights to these franchises come close to expiry, they just get rebooted. Just look at the Fantastic Four franchise for example, one going through another refresh right now despite less than a decade passing since Fox launched the last FF iteration as a big budget franchise (which ironically featured the current Captain America, Chris Evans).

This week though clearly belongs to Spidey and Sony, with  Amazing Spider Man 2 at the UK top spot, and a second week take of £3.37m plus gross of £16.54m. The film is behind the pace of the original The Amazing Spider-Man from summer 2012 though–as  that film stood at £18.85m after two weekends.

Gant points out that so far in 2014, only two films have taken more money on their second weekends than The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and they are The Lego Movie (reviewed here) and The Wolf of Wall Street. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently the fifth biggest release of 2014 in terms of cumulative grosses, behind The Lego Movie (£33.2m), The Wolf of Wall Street (£22.7m), 12 Years a Slave (£20.0m) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (£18.0m).

In terms of animation, Rio 2 still holds a top ten spot, its fourth week of release netted it £882,505  for a total of   £11,849,812 in the UK. Darren Aronofsky's baffling big budget Noah also is still afloat : it has been on release about the same time as Rio 2 and earned £512,358     this week, with a total of £9,097,785.

Also in the top ten are Johnny Depp scifi vehicle Transcendence, and the Cameron Diaz comedy The Other Woman. I've seen neither, but Diaz and Depp have a lot in common right now - both their news films have not had great reviews, with many critics in particular wondering about Depp's bankability given the previous critical failure of The Lone Ranger. Diaz too has had a string of critical and commercial disappointments with Gambit, What to Expect When You're Expecting and The Counsellor. 

Of Transcendence's 1.18m UK gross so far, £595,000 of that tally comes from four days of previews across the Easter weekend holiday, with actual weekend takings were just £586,000 from 433 screens. Not good. Diaz is doing a little better, with The Other Woman earning a five-day total of £2.66m, in line with the US debut of $24.7m.

Interesting to see John Michael McDonahgh's excellent Calvary (reviewed here) hanging on in the top ten on behalf of the art house circuit. Three weeks on release and it has earned a nice little £2,043,972. Also intriguing is the arrival of an event/performance item in the top ten, Cosi Fan Tutte - Met Opera 2014 made £362,487 in this session - its first. 

Overall,  the UK market is overall 36% down on the equivalent weekend from 2013. 

From Launching Films:


Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.