The box-office in 2011 is struggling. Consistently down on 2011’s takings every single week, your local cinemas are struggling to bring in the customers. Awards season has not been a financial success.

Last year The King’s Speech raked in £45.7 million, this year The Artist is struggling to break £8 million (something only 1 out of the 9 Oscar Best Picture nominees has managed to do) and with a sorry set of new releases next week I can’t see that changing anytime soon. I guess there’s always Batman. In July.

The Winner – The Woman in Black (again)

Now the highest grossing British horror film ever at the UK box-office The Woman in Black has overcome a huge Daniel Radcliffe shaped hurdle and possibly even elevated him to the point of legitimate adult star. I remain unconvinced but with a third week haul of £2,432,580 (pipping national treasure-porn The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to the top spot) it looks like people are having a whale of a time with strong word of mouth and more bus shelter posters than I thought financially possible.

The real news here though is the 12A certificate. After compromising on the scares Hammer are now raking in the pre-teen rewards with the huge (and admittedly underserved in scares) audience potential the practically ‘admit all’ certification brings. Back in the dark days of over protective censors and an audience as battle hardened as an early Hogwart’s Neville Longbottom, Hammer used to scare the bejesus out of all and easily scared sundry. Whilst nowadays their triumphs have devolved into camp cult films, their new output for the future might take a turn for the altogether family friendly after this financial triumph. And to be fair, there’s a huge gap in the market for it.

The Loser/ The Rubbish / The Latest Heigl Travesty – One for the Money

Oh Katherine! Who is your agent and why do you agree to all of his/her terrible suggestions. Why do you so consistently underachieve?

You have the potential to be funny. You can act, adequately. You had a huge chance after shooting to stardom in Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up to branch out, be funny, and act, at least adequately. Why follow it up with 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Killers and Life as We Know It? Why go straight into the late career romantic comedy malaise when you can do something wonderful with your career? Why star in One for the Money?

I haven’t seen One for the Money. I don’t really know anything about it (apart from the cursory Wikipedia search of course), but what I do know is that it currently holds a 2% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What I also happen to know is that that is lower than Jack and Jill got. It’s terrible showing of £316,762 from a surprisingly high 338 sites actually seems like a outrageous triumph in light of that. All I can say is that Mrs Heigl should get a new agent, or a better sense of judgement, or both.

The Senior Screener – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This could easily have been The Winner this week but alas the lure of mediated scares was too much and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has entered the charts at a respectable number 2 chalking up receipts of £2,222,051 from a humongous 504 sites on its way there.

Indeed it has veritably doddered its way up, the aging cast dragging themselves up the charts on reputation, their numerous knighthoods and (if reviews are to be believed) considerable charm alone. But that’s unfair. It seems like the key to the film’s success (as with The Woman in Black) is it’s demographic appeal. In other words it’s apparently been packing in the oldies, and as well it should. A bit of the ‘go get em’ attitude never goes amiss now does it.

It may have only reached number two but the more senior audience aren’t exactly overzealous when it come to going to the cinema. Expect a steady stream of box-office in the coming weeks (Calendar Girls ended up making 10-times it’s opening figure over its entire British run).

The Failed Epic – Black Gold

Tahir Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Riz Ahmed, a €40,000,000 budget and a box-office of only £11,004 from 95 sites. I would have had it as ‘The Loser’ but then I couldn’t have made the phrase temporarily synonymous with Katherine Heigl which would have been a shame. I’m nothing if not rigorous.

Next Time:

With the box-office performing terribly with only four films earning over $500,000 this week (which is relatively horrendous), next week looks like it will change nothing. The probably adequate Wanderlust will probably perform adequately. Todd Phillips’ latest production Project X may capture the opening weekend Chronicle crowd that abandoned that once chart topper so quickly and McG’s latest crime again artistry This Means War will be opening to entirely depressing reviews. Although it does have Tom Hardy in it. So that’s a plus. But it won’t be the next Bronson that’s for sure.


UK Top 10 Films:
  1. The Woman in Black, £2,432,580 from 451 sites. Total: £14,614,604
  2. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, £2,222,051 from 504 sites (New Entry)
  3. Safe House, £2,142,872 from 424 sites (New Entry)
  4. The Muppets, £1,490,069 from 519 sites. Total: £12,859,481
  5. Ghost Rider 3D: Spirit of Vengeance, £487,874 from 351 sites. Total: £2,311,650
  6. The Vow, £480,085 from 308 sites. Total: £4,651,254
  7. Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, £411,983 from 413 sites. Total: £5,788,145
  8. Star Wars: Episode 1 3D, £404,962 from 330 sites. Total: £4,811,649
  9. The Artist, £352,139 from 298 sites. Total: £7,584,476
  10. One For The Money, £316,762 from 338 sites (New Entry)

Other New Releases:

  • Rampart, 75 sites. Total: £102,473 (+ £11,013 previews)
  • Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, 44 sites. Total: £79,698
  • Red Dog, 56 sites. Total: £20,837 (+ £3,890 previews)
  • Laura, 4 sites. Total: £11,848
  • Jodi Breakers, 19 sites. Total: £11,215
  • Black Gold, 95 sites. Total: £11,004
  • Naachle London, 36 sites. Total: £3,357
  • The Adopted, 1 site. Total: £1,172
  • Blood Car, 7 sites. Total: £187