UK Box Ofice

Disney’s bulky inflatable robot tussles with spoof spies again, as half-term promises more of the spoils for the family-friendly animation.

Triumphant … Big Hero 6. Photograph: Rex

Triumphant … Big Hero 6. Photograph: Rex

The battling duo

No change at the top of the UK chart, as Big Hero 6 and Kingsman: The Secret Service hold on to the top two spots. Once again, Disney’s animation won the honours for the weekend, as can be seen in the top 10 below, although the bigger picture is more complicated.

With its family skew, Big Hero 6 takes the bulk of its business on Saturday and Sunday, and the official box-office chart happens to measure takings on those two days, plus Friday. Whereas Kingsman, with an adult skew, is earning money every evening of the week.

Despite losing on both the first and second weekend to Big Hero 6, the cumulative total for Kingsman stands at £8.25m, against £7.48m for the Disney title. Both those numbers include previews. Strip out the previews, and Kingsman earned £7.57m, while Big Hero 6 took £7m. The margin should increase as the week progresses.

However, the February half-term holiday begins on Friday, which is when Big Hero 6 will really start surging. We can expect it to spank Kingsman every day next week. In fact, schools have already broken up in Scotland, so this will be boosting Big Hero 6 north of the border this week.
The family competition

Disney doesn’t have the family audience all to itself this half-term, with Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep the Movie also in the mix. The animated adventure opened in third place, with a decent £2.10m. That’s well down on the debut of 2005’s Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit (£9.37m, including £2.92m in previews), which was similarly based on a popular Aardman TV brand. Aardman’s The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists kicked off in March 2012 with £2.18m, including £278,000 in previews. Shaun has opened at a very similar level. Like Big Hero 6, Shaun should benefit from strong sales during the school holiday.

Originally set for release last July, and with a budget reportedly north of $170m, the Wachowskis’ space adventure Jupiter Ascending certainly qualifies as a Hollywood blockbuster in scale and conception. Going by its box-office, however, the blockbuster designation seems misapplied. It earned a less-than-sensational £1.35m from 428 cinemas. That’s by no means in the same category of painful Wachowski flop Speed Racer (debut of £362,000), but it’s probably a lot less than backers Warners hoped when the studio approved the film’s script, cast and budget. The number shouldn’t hurt Channing Tatum too much, as he is a proven box-office star, but it probably won’t do much to strengthen the negotiating hand of Mila Kunis’s agent. Previous hits for the actress – Black Swan, Ted, Oz the Great and Powerful – have featured her in supporting roles.

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