Hits & Misses

HITS AND MISSES 25-27 JANUARY: “FIVE YEARS FOR WHAT YOU DID, THE REST BECAUSE YOU TRIED TO RUN, YES, 24601” “MY NAME IS JEAN VALJEAN!”

Les-Miserables-stillAt the end of the day LES MISERABLES is another day older. But the close-up-wonky-shot musical extravaganza explosion is nevertheless still very much Monsieur Le Mayor at the UK box office this Monday after three weekends of play. The film took an additional £4M to make a cumulative total of £24.6M, and with a drop of just 9% on last weekend, the song-heavy flick clearly has a box office life ahead that some may have doubted after last weekend’s drop. At second place, 18-rated Tarantino romp DJANGO UNCHAINED rampaged its way to another £2.4M to make a healthy £7M to date after two weekends, while at third place, Oscar nom-heavy Spielberg opener LINCOLN took £1.6M in its first weekend. This result compares to a £4M opening for WAR HORSE last year in roughly the same frame, although WAR HORSE benefitted from a known-quantity source novel and play, while the comparatively US-centric exploits of Abraham Lincoln could also account for the disparity.

At fourth place, LIFE OF PI continued to trundle along into a sixth weekend of play with a further £1.1M to make a £26M total to date. At fifth place, ZERO DARK THIRTY opened to just over £1M from a very wide release. At sixth, wavey weepy THE IMPOSSIBLE splashed its way into a fourth weekend with an additional £1M to make £10.7M to date. While at seventh, starry gross out portmanteau epic MOVIE 43 brought lowest common denominators to a new fiscal high with £788K from a 275 site release to average a healthy £2.8K. At eighth place, 3D reissue MONSTERS INC sustained into a decent second weekend with £703K, while at ninth THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY took a further £623K in a seventh weekend. Finally, at tenth, Schwarzenegger actioner THE LAST STAND aped its stateside flop with £455K and a poor £1.3K average from saturation release, proving that not only is Arnold “Too old for this shit” but that arguably, in the UK public eye, this shit is getting old.

Aside from a couple of Bollywood titles posting decent openings from targeted launch, no additional new starts registered particularly strong openings. Feelgood US flop WON’T BACK DOWN posted the poorest opening of all with just £736 to make for a £74 average from a very limited opening. The Disney title opened to $2.6M in the states – a poor showing for the starry ‘teachers taking on the man’ flick – but this UK launch is just disastrous. What happened?

Over in the states, a relatively slow weekend saw a top place launch for critically panned opener HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS with $19M, second place for last weekend’s horror hit MAMA with $12.9M, and a hold at third for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK with $10M and a whopping $69.5M to date for the word-of-mouth indie comedy. On the independent circuit meanwhile, QUARTET and AMOUR continued to do gang-busting business in the face of fairly underwhelming opening competition. AMOUR expanded from 36 to 64 sites, taking in a further $481K to average $7.5K, while QUARTET expanded from 32 to 163 screens, to take $1.1M and average just over $7K. Grey dollar traction in action.


From Friday, punters can look forward to old-school kills from Walter Hill’s BULLET TO THE HEAD, new-age chills from Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature ANTIVIRAL, period frills from lavish costume piece HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON, as well as Oscar baiting thrills from FLIGHT starring Denzel Washington as a coked up pilot. On limited release meanwhile, intense Belgian potboiler BULLHEAD finally hits cinema screens since landing a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination last year. A quality slate for the weekend. Happy viewing.

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