UK Box Office Report Dec 15-17th 2017

Grabbing all the headlines this past weekend was Star Wars: The Last Jedi which claimed the 2nd highest opening weekend in the history of the North American box office ($220million) on its way to a $450million opening weekend worldwide. In the UK, The Last Jedi hit £28million, becoming the 8th highest grossing movie of 2017 after just 4 days, earning an amount higher than everything that has hit cinemas in 2017 barring Beauty and the Beast, Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Paddington 2, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming, with the latter three movies likely to be overtaken by the Lucasfilm giant by Friday. As such, Star Wars: The Last Jedi looks set to hit the top 5 by the end of next weekend, overtaking Paddington 2 which is itself pursuing 4th placed Marvel juggernaut Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and continuing to earn in the 7 figures heading into Christmas. Here are this past weekend’s top 5:

The Last Jedi is projected to earn less than the saga’s previous film The Force Awakens – which totalled at $2billion – due to its longer run-time (2hrs 32mins, some 16 minutes longer) and more divisive reception, as well as the fact that it’s the 3rd Star Wars movie in as many years. This past weekend’s box office figures back this projection, with The Last Jedi concluding the 4 day period with £6million less than The Force Awakens made during the same weekend in 2015. Even so, The Last Jedi has set a benchmark of its own by becoming the movie with the 4th highest grossing opening weekend in history of the UK box office, only 2 places below its series predecessor and nearly £16million better off than the 2016 Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. Here are the top 5 opening weekends of all time:

  1. SPECTRE (2015) – £46.6million
  2. The Force Awakens (2015) – £34million
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) – £28.8million
  4. The Last Jedi (2017) – £28million
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) – £25.2million

This of course makes The Last Jedi the movie with the highest grossing opening weekend in 2017, sitting at the top of a chart that features the following top 5:

  1. The Last Jedi – £28million
  2. Beauty and the Beast – £19.7million
  3. The Fate of the Furious – £14million
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – £13million
  5. Thor: Ragnarok – £12.4million

The dominance of The Last Jedi as regards the UK box office in 2017 is compounded by the film’s distributor Disney – who have just bought 21st Century Fox – sitting in 4 of the top 5 spots in the table above, with only Universal’s The Fate of the Furious managing to break the company’s tight grip on the chart. This indicates one of two things: either Disney has fantastic promotion in the region or the company simply produces the most highly anticipated spectacle movies in the industry. Once The Last Jedi breaks the annual top 5 by the end of next weekend, Disney will also be sat in 3 of the 5 spots on the Top 5 list for the year, with Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Last Jedi occupying said chart places. Make sure to bookmark our homepage to make sure you don’t miss our annual box office report coming in the last week of December!

The unlikely challenger to Disney being the dominant distributor of the top 5 remains Paddington 2, a Studiocanal release that has now officially earned more money at the box office than Thor: Ragnarok, making it the number 5 movie of the year on £31,365,641. It will take a small movie-miracle for the British made movie to earn enough to overtake 4th placed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (£41million) by the year’s end, or to hold off The Last Jedi until then, but when each of 2017’s films have wrapped at the box office, Paddington 2 is in with an outside chance of knocking Guardians 2 out of the top 5 if it remains strong over Christmas. This week, the Ben Whishaw starring picture dropped only £300,000 from its total the previous week, indicating that a total of around £1million could be met for the 7th weekend in a row next weekend; a true testament to the film’s quality and the public’s appreciation for the original IP.

Here are the actuals for the top 15 films in the UK for Dec 15-17th 2017:

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – weeks on release: 1 – weekend: £28,010,841 – total: £28,010,841
  2. Paddington 2 – 6 – £1,357,273 – £31,365,641
  3. Daddy’s Home 2 – 4 – £1,032,977 – £11,393,266
  4. Wonder – 3 – £467,987 – £3,513,838
  5. Justice League – 5 – £222,698 – £17,214,315
  6. Murder on the Orient Express – 7 – £196,186 – £23,541,083
  7. The Disaster Artist – 2 – £118,044 – £1,035,880
  8. A Bad Moms Christmas – 7 – £97,840 – £8,121,794
  9. The Star – 4 – £93,775 – £717,192
  10. Thor: Ragnarok – 8 – £92,665 – £30,936,228
  11. It’s a Wonderful Life – £61,102 – £2,806,760
  12. Mountain – 1 – £41,813 – £41,813
  13. Muppet Christmas Carol – £33,801 – £71,760
  14. The Man Who Invented Christmas – 3 – £31,712 – £484,235
  15. Call Me By Your Name – 8 – £26,037 – £1,173,150

The lower reaches of the chart were dominated by Christmas movies new and old this weekend, with Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life and beloved children’s classic Muppet Christmas Carol joining The Man Who Invented Christmas, A Bad Moms Christmas and Daddy’s Home 2 on the chart this week, earning a combined £1.2million.

The only new entry was Jennifer Peedom’s mountain documentary Mountain, which features the voice of Willem Dafoe, that earned £41,813; a solid total for a documentary.

Notably, this week’s chart cut-off point was much lower than in previous weeks, with the usual £100,000 to £200,000 barrier being lowered tremendously to only £26,037, largely due to the desires of Disney and cinema chains to screen The Last Jedi in as many screens as possible, significantly cutting the number of screens available for smaller films to be shown.

So that about does it for this week’s box office chart. Next week, we’ll have a better idea as to where The Last Jedi will reach on the 2017 box office chart as well as updates on the performance of Paddington 2 and something close to a final box office taking for Thor: Ragnarok. We will also be providing a box office report for the 2017 calendar year and a covering a bunch of other interesting topics regarding the end of the year, so make sure to bookmark us, keep up to date with us on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to us on YouTube for first access to our UK Box Office Chart Top 5 videos. For now, Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate!

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