THE TOP TEN
1. Battleship. Weekend/Total: £3,763,348 Sites: 496 (New)
2. Titanic 3D. Weekend/Total: £1,809,737 / £8,005,203 Sites: 429 (1)
3. The Cabin in the Woods. Weekend/Total: £1,601,161 Sites: 414 (New)
4. The Hunger Games. Weekend/Total: £1,494,174 / £19,419,136 Sites: 488 (2)
5. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. Weekend/Total: £1,477,517 / £12,840,803 Sites: 543 (4)
6. Mirror Mirror. Weekend/Total: £913,134 / £5,194,454 Sites: 412 (3)
7. 21 Jump Street. Weekend/Total: £528,122 / £8,751,816 Sites: 321 (6)
8. Wrath of the Titans. Weekend/Total: £495,768 / £7,197,617 Sites: 419 (5)
9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Weekend/Total: £273,338 / £18,518,872 Sites: 233 (8)
10. StreetDance 2. Weekend/Total: £220,087 / £2,872,153 Sites: 327 (9)
(Previous week's placement in parentheses)
BATTLESHIP SINKS TITANIC
On first impression I did not expect Battleship to perform, it's a non-sequel based on an unfamilair and outdated property with the biggest marquee star being Rihanna.
My tune changed somewhat after attending a Wednesday afternoon preview for the film, which was sold out and covered a wide age range of audience members, so it was no surprise to hear the film made £1.51m during its Wednesday & Thursday previews.
The total take for Battleship's opening was £3.76m, not quite as impressive as the first installment of Transformers, Hasbro's other major tentpole, which opening to £8.72m. However, Michael Bay's mega-blockbuster opened deep in the highly lucrative summer season in July 2007.
Peter Berg's naval action movie performed better than the other Hasbro release, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which opened to just £1.71m in August 2009. This is a good opening for a new property that lacks an established fanbase or any real cultural cache. This will be good news to Taylor Kitsch, whose last release was box office failure John Carter.
It may not have opened as strong as The Hunger Games (£4.9m) but the competition was a lot stronger, whereas Hunger Games opened as the only film to go over one-million that weekend, Battleship competes with four other releases that cracked £1m.
THE ONE MILLION PLUS CLUB
Last week four out of the five top movies of the weekend grossed over £2m, thanks to the extended Easter Weekend, so it was expected that the overall performance would slip down this weekend. Even so, all of the remaining top five movies of the weekend broke £1m.
Titanic 3D saw relatively gentle 37% drop, put earned £1.8m and is just a stones throw away from hitting £10m after just its second week. Proof positive that Cameron's epic romance still reels in the crowds beyond the initial morbid curiosity of seeing it in 3D.
Meta-horror masterpiece, The Cabin in the Woods, opened in third place this weekend with £1.6m. A decent result but still a surprise considering the immense online buzz does not translate to real world buzz, and the film had extensive free previews leading up to the release, possibly giving away free screenings to the target audience.
The Hunger Games may still be the reigning champion in the North American market but it's slowly slipping down the charts, despite a continued strong performance over weekend. The sci-fi epic only saw a 38% drop from last weeks Easter Weekend haul and its mid-week performance remained strong, combining with the weekend performance to push the total gross from £15.17m to £19.42m.
The Pirates! only saw a 32% drop in business from last week, the best hold of the top 5 films and the mid-week performance was exception, pushing the film up from £7.72m to £12.84m. There are very few options open for younger audience members and Pirates is proving to be a good piece of counter-programming to the teen/adult fare.
BOTTOM OF THE PILE
Mirror Mirror falls a drastic 62% from last weeks top 3 winning take. Last weekend £2.39m was boosted by Monday-Thursday previews and a busy Easter Weekend, but losing the holiday bump had negligible impact on Titanic 3D, The Hunger Games and The Pirates. Audiences may simply be rejecting this film, which has proven to have a mixed critical reception.
Despite being in the charts longer, 21 Jump Street holds out better than Wrath of the Titans which falls by a massive 64% (a steeper fall from last weeks 38% drop). Mid-week performance has slowed down, and will only get worse from here, which means the Titans sequel will be lucky to get to £10m next week.
Marigold soldiers on while StreetDance 2 dies. The Best Exotic's mid-week performance helped the films total jump by another million, but it looks like we will be parting ways this week. The only way I foresee the comedy/drama may hold onto the top 10 next week is because of a weak selection of new releases.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND...
The Luc Besson produced sci-fi action movie, Lockout, opens on Friday. Reviews have been less than kind, Guy Pierce is not a bankable face, so it will likely rely on cashing in on audience affection for Taken (which it shares a co-star in Maggie Grace) but the trailers do not have the attention grabbing hook that Taken had.
I'm not positive Lockout has enough pull to give the big guns any reason to worry, although it has a good chance of knocking The Cabin in the Woods out of the Top 5, with the fan-favourite horror failing to capture the imagination of the average viewer (if Twitter reactions and the US Cinemascore are anything to go by).
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is likely hoping to get in on some of that waning Best Exotic Marigold Hotel money, both being based on well-liked novels and reaching for the same audience. As far as counter-programming to the loud, brash blockbusters and bothersome 3D, I would be a fool to discount the possibility of this movie doing well on opening weekend.
Also opening are Amanda Seyfried thriller Gone and the Marley documentary. I don't expect great things from Gone, it seems to be slipping into the release schedule with its head down, more as an obligation than a real theatrical force. Marley could perform well, at least sneaking into the lower half of the top ten. It depends entirely on how much audience retention the current Top 10 sees for the coming weekend.