THE TOP TEN
1. Avengers Assemble. Weekend/Total: £4,169,087 / £40,279,282 Sites: 498 (1)
2. American Pie: Reunion. Weekend/Total: £2,546,626 / £12,208,052 Sites: 487 (2)
3. Dark Shadows. Weekend/Total: £2,404,029 from 510 sites (New)
4. The Lucky One. Weekend/Total: £431,576 / £2,311,538 Sites: 365 (3)
5. Beauty and the Beast 3D. Weekend/Total: £422,924 / £1,837,991 Sites: 380 (4)
6. Safe. Weekend/Total: £298,201 / £1,552,728 Site: 290 (5)
7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Weekend/Total: £259,550 / £5,316,260 Sites: 259 (6)
8. Piranha 3DD. Weekend/Total: £242,889 Sites: 318 (New)
9. How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Weekend/Total: £152,728 Sites: 250 (New)
10. The Hunger Games. Weekend/Total: £143,542 / £23,480,585 Sites: 157 (7)
(Previous week's placement in parentheses)
THINK UP YOUR OWN AVENGERS/ASSEMBLE PUN, I CAN'T BE EXPECTED TO DO EVERYTHING
Avengers Assemble continues to dominate the charts, despite some troubling early word that Dark Shadows was performing well in Europe. The superhero battle royale scored a £4.17m weekend, despite dropping 49% on last weeks. Still, an impressive performance for a film three weeks into release but has yet to face any real competition.
The current UK total is £40.28m (contributing to a $1 billion worldwide total) has now crushed previous superhero box office giants like the Spider-Man trilogy (£29.03m, £26.73m and £33.55m, respectively)but still tailing behind The Dark Knight's lifetime gross of £49.07m. It's still entirely in the air whether The Avengers can beat that but considering the Batman-starred classic had earned just £34.67m on it's third weekend, Marvel's mightiest have a better shot than most at toppling DC's behemoth.
SECOND HELPINGS OF AMERICAN PIE
The idea of being nostalgic for the late '90s makes me feel nauseous but apparently I am alone in my stomach ailments, as American Pie: Reunion has now earned an impressive £12.21m after two weekends. Compare this to American Pie 2 (until now the most successful entry in the franchise) which holds a lifetime total of £18.26m and had grossed £10.67m on the same time frame. If all this '90s pandering leads to a Limp Bizkit resurgence, I'm throwing myself off a bridge.
DARK SHADOWS LEFT IN THE SHADE
The last time Tim Burton and Johnny Depp got together to punish audiences for their misplaced trust, Alice in Wonderland opened in the UK to £10.56m with a lifetime gross of £42.17m and a #10 spot in the all-time worldwide box office top ten.
Alice benefitted from a mixture of elements: (1) A familiar brand (2) It was riding on Avatar's 3D coat tails, a hasty 3D retrofit and IMAX 3D release cashed in on the frenzy surrounding 3D following James Cameron's world beater. (3) People can be really stupid.
Dark Shadows could only rely on the latter to pull in it's £2.40m opening. Only die-hard genre geeks know about the Dark Shadows soap opera that ran in the US during the late '60s/early '70s and Burton decided to release the film in two humble dimensions. Still, it's not a bad opening for an unfamiliar property but don't expect a great deal of audience retention; Avengers can afford to see 40-50% drops because it opened so high, similar drops for Burton's gothic soap will see it burn through the charts like a vampire on a beach holiday.
When the top three films perform well, it's the rest that suffer. If that's not a metaphor for Occupy Wall Street, I don't know what is. The Lucky One, Beauty and the Beast 3D, Safe and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen saw their numbers drop sharply.
The Nicholas Sparks penned, Zac Efron starring weepy dropped by a huge 63% with the Jason Statham thriller and Ewan McGregor rom-com falling by 56% and 60% respectively. Disney's 3D re-release fell by the shortest margin, just 38%.
Two new entries that performed poorly (although no great surprise to me) were horror sequel Piranha 3DD and Mel Gibson's How I Spent My Summer Vacation. The aquatic monster movies fell in eighth place with just £243,000, a far gurgled cry from Piranha 3D's £1.33m in August 2010. 3DD opened quite softly, with fewer screens than its predecessor (354) and the appeal has likely worn off on gimmicky horror movies by now, two years is a long time and most of the target audience (teen boys, if the title is anything to go by) have probably discovered porn by now.
Mel Gibson's surprisingly good How I Spent My Summer Vacation opened to £153,000 on a paltry 250 screens. Gibson's recent (and needlessly high-profile) troubles appear to have soured cinema chains and audiences. Keep your chin up, Mel, you'll find your comeback eventually. Maybe don't speak so much around recording equipment in the meantime.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND...
The big release of the weekend will be The Dictator. Anecdotal evidence alert: The trailer seems to be well received by audiences, leaving me to wonder what I'm missing exactly, so I expect a decent performance from the gross out comedy. Its 15 certificate might hamper its ability to out-perform Avengers Assemble but it all depends on the drop Marvel's movie suffers this coming weekend.
Awesome, ass-kicking Indonesian action classic, The Raid (REVIEW HERE), opens this weekend to 280 screens - this is an impressive figure for a foreign language movie, 30 whole screens more than Mel Gibson warranted. If The Raid, riding high on a wave of hype, can't crack the top 10 next weekend then something drastic must happen between Friday and Sunday; like the sun coming out and sprouting a twin.