UK Box Office Report September 22nd-24th 2017

The big news at the UK Box Office this past weekend was the debut of Matthew Vaughn’s comic book movie sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which looked to surpass its predecessor’s £4.2million opening weekend and therefore shoot past its biggest competition, IT. Elsewhere, there were debuts for Borg vs McEnroe and Maze, though each failed to make the top 5…

As you can see, Kingsman out-performed the competition quite significantly, taking home nearly £6million more than its closest competition IT, though the supremely popular horror was in its 3rd weekend at the box office. The Golden Circle also, crucially to the franchise’s ongoing success, outperformed its predecessor, taking over double the £4.2million that The Secret Service opened with by earning a whopping £8.5million. This total isn’t as high as the opening weekend IT had a few weeks ago, but given that September releases are usually quite unpopular, The Golden Circle has performed abnormally well in its own right. Here are the top debut weekends from September in the past few years:

2016: Bridget Jones’s Baby – £8.1million

2015: Legend – £5.2million

2014: The Boxtrolls – £2million

From these stats, it’s clear just how important the releases of Kingsman: The Golden Circle and IT have been for the box office in this country this year, with both outgrossing the best of the past few years by quite a margin. The historical figures are also important indicators of how the September month is becoming an increasingly popular time for cinema going in this country, with the top grossing figure of each year rising significantly with each passing year, offering studios and independent film distributors an increasingly viable alternative to the typically popular summer months.

It’s not all good news however, as September has traditionally been considered as a month for studio-driven dramas and more critically successful independent films, earning it the reputation as being the beginning of awards season releases, causing releases like Kingsman and IT to begin to have a detrimental effect on the performances of these kind of films. As we’ve already seen in the report from two weeks ago, such films are beginning to struggle as a result of increased competition from typically more popular films, with potential Oscar nominee Wind River failing to make the top 5 in its debut week despite having the pulling power of Avengers stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen – going on to make only £1million over the course of its 3 week run – and british made independent film God’s Own Country making back only half of its £1million budget across its two weeks of release.

This week, critically successful independent film Borg vs McEnroe – distributed by Curzon Artifiical Eye – seems to have suffered from a similar fate, landing at only number 13 on the chart with a total of £101,918, a snip of the movie’s £5.6million budget. This is despite having the pulling power of being a historical drama based on two of the most famous tennis stars in history, as well as the acting talents of former Indiana Jones actor Shia LaBeouf and another Avengers actor in Stellan Skarsgård. 

Here’s the top 15:

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – weeks on release: 1 – weekend: £8,525,664 – total: £8,525,664
  2. IT – 3 – £2,852,965 – £26,451,709
  3. Victoria and Abdul – 2 – £1,239,085 – £4,831,777
  4. Mother! – 2 – £364,301 – £1,668,307
  5. The EmojiMovie: Express Yourself – 8 – £359,793 – £14,043,072
  6. The Jungle Bunch – 2 – £288,416 – £732,567
  7. American Assassin – 2 – £262,647 – £1,371,723
  8. Despicable Me 3 – 13 – £195,960 – £46,717,650
  9. Dunkirk – 10 – £185,321 – £56,086,005
  10. American Made – 5 – £151,960 – £5,345,061
  11. Maze – 1 – £123,985 – £123,985
  12. Wind River – 3 – £118,206 – £1,201,946
  13. Borg vs McEnroe – 1 – £101,918 – £101,918
  14. Captain Underpants – 9 – £88,897 – £7,814,949
  15. Cars 3 – 11 – £74,760 – £11,505,824

Perhaps the biggest story elsewhere in the charts is the continued presence of Mother! in the top 5, earning itself over £300,000 this week to push it to number 4 overall. Whilst it remains a hugely under-performing movie for the reasons outlined in last week’s report, the 2 week run will give Paramount bragging rights despite their financial loss on the film.

It seems they’re mentioned each week, but it remains quite incredible that Despicable Me 3 and Dunkirk are heading into their 14th and 11th weeks respectively in the top 10 following huge box office returns already this year. Both are in the country’s top 5 for 2017 already, with their totals continuing to stack up. It is very unlikely that each of them shall move any higher than their number 2 and 3 spots for the year with weekly totals now equalling a relatively low 100-200 hundred thousand pounds, but their performance remains a bright spot for the industry in this regard. Comparitively, Captain Underpants and Cars 3 are heading into their 10th and 12th weeks in the top 15 respectively, but their overall totals of just under £8million and just over £11.5million pale in comparison.

Next week will see the debut of the Flatliners remake starring Ellen Page, as well as Goodbye Christopher Robin and the Reese Witherspoon starring Home Again, each of which could realistically impact the top 5. In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you get first access to the UK Box Office top 5 chart every Tuesday.

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