Perusing Charles's Gant's Box Office roundup in The Guardian, and Launching Film's website, what can we say about the lie of the land?
- Disney's big-budget fantasy flick Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie working with first-time director Robert Stromberg, has had a strong opening here with £6.59m which includes Wednesday/Thursday previews of £2.77m. That represents only the fifth best opening of 2014, behind X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Lego Movie and Bad Neighbours. Maleficent's debut places seventh for 2014 so far. According to Rottentomatoes' review aggregator, it holds a score of only 51% so far though.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (reviewed favourably by this site) continues to do well in the UK, despite falling 53% with £3.52m takings this period. Its reviews have been excellent overall. Two weeks into its run in the UK, the film has totalled £19.47m, putting it ahead of the lifetime totals of X-Men 1 (£14.98m), X-Men: The Last Stand (£19.22m), X-Men First Class (£15.03m) and spinoff film X-Men Origins: Wolverine (£16.38m) and The Wolverine (£13.70m). Only X-Men 2 has performed better. This almost certainly will be reassuring Fox executives that they are right to continue to milk this franchise (which seems strangely reboot resistant) with the already green lit X-Men Apocalypse.
- Tom Cruise proves he can still deliver a solid action blockbuster, as his scifi/action flick Edge of Tomorrow delivered an opening weekend of £1.89m, pushing it to 3rd spot in the weekly chart. Though I didn't rate the film that highly, the Rottentomatoes aggregate score is in the high 80s at time of writing.
- A Million Ways to Die in the West from Ted director Seth Macfarlane has landed here with a so-so £1.24m, delivering a screen average of £2,668. For comparison, Ted opened with a stonking £9.33m including £3.40m in previews. Not looking good, and the reviews have been mixed too.
- The major comedy alternative to Macfarlane's film, the well-received Bad Neighbours, is still performing strongly in its fourth week of release (with an impressive £15.19m to date).
- More likely to drop out of the running when it comes to the comedy top spot is Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore starrer Blended, which slides 67% from its weak opening, with only £1.78m after 10 days. Reviews have been awful.
- Ken Loach's Cannes film Jimmy's Hall is the only real indie film in the top ten in this period and has had solid reviews. Nevertheless it only grossed £132,000 from 94 screens including £4,300 in previews, whereas Loach's last film The Angels' Share debuted with £256,000 from 73 cinemas, boosted by strong takings in Scotland.
Thanks to the arrival of three big studio releases, takings are 30% up on the equivalent weekend from 2013.