THE TOP TEN
1. The Hunger Games. Weekend/Total: £4,900,177 Sites: 511 (New)
2. 21 Jump Street. Weekend/Total: £1,184,044 / £3,947,933 Sites: 392 (2)
3. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Weekend/Total: £747,122 / £15,674,349 Sites: 464 (3)
4. The Devil Inside. Weekend/Total: £643,036 / £3,523,729 Sites: 387 (1)
5. We Bought a Zoo. Weekend/Total: £408,821 / £1,625,015 Sites: 426 (5)
6. Contraband. Weekend/Total: £315,666 / £1,485,985 Sites: 355 (6)
7. John Carter. Weekend/Total: £297,762 / £4,504,680 Sites: 151 (4)
8. Act of Valor. Weekend/Total: £262,935 Sites: 269 (New)
9. The Woman in Black. Weekend/Total: £214,401 / £20,932,300 Sites: 325 (7)
10. The Muppets. Weekend/Total: £168,381 / £16,061,283 Sites: 436 (9)
(Previous week's placement in parentheses)
AUDIENCES ARE HUNGRY FOR THE GAMES
Expectations were high, the North American opening hit $153m marking it as the third biggest opening of all time (behind The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2), but The Hunger Games was not the proven commodity in the UK as it was in America. A £4.9m opening should go some way to prove that audiences are definitely hungry for this property.
The gross crushed the opening weekend of the original Twilight movie, yet still a far cry from Breaking Dawn Part 1's record-breaking £13.9m. Given the movies huge success, the likelihood of the next two movies in the trilogy making their way to the big screen is a certainty, so I am sure Lionsgate are expecting the next time around to be even more lucrative.
At £4.9m, this is the biggest opening of the year by a considerable margin, so absolute was the films dominance over the weekend box office, the rest of the top 10 has really suffered with only one other film making over £1m.
JUMP STREET STAYS IN THE AIR, THE DEVIL INSIDE DROPS OUT
21 Jump Street may have missed out on the #1 spot last week, being beaten out by The Devil Inside, but this week we saw the action-comedy see a very minor 24% drop and the only other film this week to top £1m. Word of mouth was clearly in its favour.
The same could not be said for The Devil Inside, when the found footage horror saw a massive 68% drop, falling behind The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which has circled the charts for a lot longer.
Marigold has topped £15m but with competition getting tougher and tougher, I don't see this getting much further. It could muddle together and get £16m, if it's lucky, roughly the same as what The Muppets final tally will be.
It's safe to say that John Carter is dead. It dropped a whopping 301 sites from last week and I will be legitimately surprised if it can even top out at £5m. Meanwhile, The Woman in Black looks like it has rounded out at £20m and despite a significant slow down in business I would bet on it having more chance of remaining in the Top 10 next week than John Carter.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND...
The weekend will see the release of Aardman's The Pirates! (which opens to previews today and tomorrow), fantasy sequel Wrath of the Titans and Street Dance 2. All three releases have the added bonus of 3D screenings giving them a boost, which will help their chances in challenging the current champion.
Wrath of the Titans and even The Pirates! run the risk of having some overlap with The Hunger Games' audience base, but have their marketing strategies been strong enough to take away substantial numbers away from the science fiction blockbuster?
Given the monster success of rival Young Adult franchise, Twilight, it's likely the teen market will keep this one afloat. It will inevitably see a big drop in numbers, but I am going to predict that The Hunger Games holds onto the top spot next week.