Lady Bird vs Best Picture Nominees – UK Box Office Report Feb 23-25 2018

The UK box office greeted the final 2018 awards season releases this past weekend ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, with Best Picture late-comer Lady Bird and 3-time nominee I, Tonya each performing admirably on their way to a top 5 chart position…

Thanks to a comparatively prominent preview run, Lady Bird actually out-grossed the Margot Robbie starring I, Tonya by close to £200,000 this weekend, with the Greta Gerwig directed film coming in at number 3 on the chart overall. The picture was made for what is believed to be $10million and has hit UK cinemas off the back of a $47million run in its domestic territory of North America, putting it at a profit 5-times that of its budget when worldwide takings are factored into the equation. Much like fellow Best Picture nominee Get Out, Lady Bird has well and truly been a breakout hit that is bound to solidify Gerwig as a key player in the years to come, much like has seemed to have happened with Get Out director Jordan Peele; but how did its opening compare to the other Oscar nominees here in the UK?

  1. Dunkirk – Jul 2017 – £10million
  2. Darkest Hour – Jan 2018 – £4.1million
  3. The Shape of Water – Feb 2018 – £2.5million
  4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Jan 2018 – £2.4million
  5. The Post – Jan 2018 – £2.2million
  6. Get Out – Mar 2017 – £2.2million
  7. Lady Bird – Feb 2018 – £1.3million
  8. Phantom Thread – Feb 2018 – £250,000
  9. Call Me By Your Name – Oct 2017 – £235,000

Clearly, Lady Bird wasn’t nearly as popular as the majority of awards season releases in its opening weekend but much of that could be down to the extraordinary level of competition from continued chart topper The Greatest Showman and worldwide mega-hit (and record-setter) Black Panther. Unlike the vast majority of its competition, the film was also released post-BAFTAs at a time when UK audiences have already begun to move on from the spate of awards season premieres that happen each and every week in the opening months of any given calendar year. Distributors Universal may have had less faith in the picture than had been the case with distributors of the likes of Three Billboards and Darkest Hour because of the picture’s comparatively limited British involvement in front of and behind the camera.

Even so, for a film of its size and very specific subject matter, Lady Bird seems to have done particularly well here in the UK, with the picture now being the biggest hit of Gerwig’s screenwriting career in the territory:

  1. Lady Bird – Feb 2018 – £1.3million
  2. Mistress America – Aug 2015 – £165,000
  3. Frances Ha – Jul 2013 – £150,000

The picture has even become the highest performing film ever associated with the filmmaker (as regards roles both in front of and behind the camera) in the UK:

  1. Lady Bird – Feb 2018 – £1.3million
  2. Arthur – Apr 2011 – £765,000
  3. Jackie – Jan 2017 – £663,000
  4. Mistress America – Aug 2015 – £165,000
  5. Frances Ha – July 2013 – £150,000
  6. Maggie’s Plan – Jul 2016 – £103,000
  7. Wiener Dog – Aug 2016 – £86,000
  8. 20th Century Women – Feb 2017 – £55,000

Comparatively, I, Tonya is of course nowhere near to Margot Robbie’s biggest ever opening (Suicide Squad – 2016), but has made $28million from an $11million budget thus far in terms of international takings, making the small but star-laden film a surefire financial hit, too.

The biggest financial hit of the year however, and possibly a release well on its way to being one of the biggest box office hits of all time, is Marvel’s hugely popular standalone movie Black Panther. In its first weekend, the film was so popular it set all kinds of astonishing records – full analysis in last week’s report – and this week it set all new records on its way to boosting its worldwide accumulation to $708million.

First of all, Black Panther is now the joint 2nd fastest movie to ever make it to $400million in North America, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and tied with Jurassic World (on just 10 days) and has set a new record for the highest gross in a 2nd weekend ever for Marvel Studios, even outperforming The Avengers (2012) on its way to earning $111.7million this weekend. For those keeping count, that’s the 2nd highest 2nd weekend in history behind – you guessed it – The Force Awakens. That equates to a drop-off of less than 50%, a figure all-but unheard of for films making upwards of $200million in their opening weekend, and is another Marvel Studios record.

Here in the UK, Panther has become the highest grossing movie of the year by quite a margin, hitting £29.5million after just 10 days of release, placing it some £7million ahead of its closest rival Darkest Hour which has been in cinemas for an additional 5 weeks. When all is said and done, Black Panther may end up out-grossing many of the top UK releases in 2017 and may even cross $1billion worldwide, with projections for its Chinese release suggesting an additional $160million could be on its way to Disney/Marvel in mid-March, as well as all of the money it will continue to earn in other worldwide territories in the meantime.

The Greatest Showman was the week’s other big winner as the sing-along re-release brought in an extra £2million in the film’s 9th weekend on the chart in a run that has shown longevity totally unprecedented in the modern history of the UK box office. The picture has now earned £33million overall as a 2017 release, sitting it just beyond the £41million of Paddington, itself sitting at number 5 in the 2017 Annual UK Box Office Chart, and still showing little sign of slowing down.

The Greatest Showman has performed so well that it has out-grossed musical mega-hit La La Land by £5million here in the UK, and has now hit $362million (£260million) worldwide from an $84million (£60million) budget, making it one of the most successful mid-budget movies of 2017.

Here are the actuals for all 15 of this past weekend’s box office chart toppers:

  1. Black Panther – weeks on release: 2 – £6,859,230 – £29,540,019
  2. The Greatest Showman – 9 – £2,000,922 – £33,563,952
  3. Lady Bird – 1 – £1,233,508 – £1,233,508
  4. Fifty Shades Freed – 3 – £1,190,524 – £16,195,582
  5. I, Tonya – 1 – £1,049,551 – £1,049,551
  6. Finding Your Feet – 1 – £923,220 – £923,220
  7. The Shape of Water – 2 – £900,402 – £4,427,458
  8. Coco – 6 – £759,419 – £16,626,169
  9. Early Man – 5 – £563,868 – £9,625,584
  10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 7 – £514,101 – £12,456,741
  11. Darkest Hour – 7 – £362,412 – £22,802,904
  12. La Boheme: Met Opera 2018 – 1 – £309,798 – £309,798
  13. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – 10 – £287,147 – £37,705,852
  14. Ferdinand – 11 – £196,551 – £9,680,122
  15. Maze Runner: The Death Cure – 5 – £131,085 – £6,667,941

The other film to enter the chart this week was Finding Your Feet starring Joanna Lumley and Timothy Spall among others, from the team behind surprise hits Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 1 & 2. Sitting just shy of £1million must be seen as a victory for the Entertainment One UK release given the extraordinary level of competition on offer this weekend, though it noticeably underperformed in comparison to the original Best Exotic Marigold Hotel film which debuted in the same week of 2012 with £2.2million, or indeed its sequel which earned £3.8million in the same opening weekend in 2015.

And finally… given the likelihood that we’ll be waving goodbye to long-time chart-topper Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this week, it seemed like a good time to provide an update on the film’s figures.

Here in the UK, the Jumanji sequel has earned £37.7million to place it at number 7 for the year in 2017, just £1.5million behind Marvel’s biggest hit of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Worldwide, Jumanji has hit $920million, with a lucrative run in Japan likely to push the film beyond the fabled $1billion mark, a marker that nobody could have seen coming in the build-up to the film’s release opposite Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

That does it for this week’s UK Box Office Report. We’ll be back next week to take you through this coming weekend’s biggest and brightest. Until then, subscribe to us on YouTube for first access to our weekly box office chart videos (released every Tuesday), bookmark our homepage, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and enjoy the Oscars!

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