Tom Cruise still flying high at UK box office with American Made

Winner #1: American Made

Tom Cruise is at the top of the UK box office for the second week running with American Made. The Doug Liman-directed film declined a slim 9% and held the chart summit with a gross of £968,000. There the good news ends, because the film’s success says more about the uncompetitive nature of the market than it does about American Made’s popularity.

This is the first time since June 2012 that a film has topped the official UK chart with less than £1m. On that occasion, Ice Age: Continental Drift did so from its release in Scotland and Ireland with a gross of just £853,000. (In fact, the Ice Age movie played previews that weekend in England and Wales, which were added in later, so the poor chart-topping tally was due to the industry’s eccentric box office measuring system.) Prior to that example, the last time a UK weekend chart was topped by a film grossing less than £1m was in October 2010: Will Ferrell’s The Other Guys took the No 1 spot on its third week of release, with £976,000, resisting the challenge of new titles Buried and Made in Dagenham.

Winner #1: American Made

Tom Cruise is at the top of the UK box office for the second week running with American Made. The Doug Liman-directed film declined a slim 9% and held the chart summit with a gross of £968,000. There the good news ends, because the film’s success says more about the uncompetitive nature of the market than it does about American Made’s popularity.

This is the first time since June 2012 that a film has topped the official UK chart with less than £1m. On that occasion, Ice Age: Continental Drift did so from its release in Scotland and Ireland with a gross of just £853,000. (In fact, the Ice Age movie played previews that weekend in England and Wales, which were added in later, so the poor chart-topping tally was due to the industry’s eccentric box office measuring system.) Prior to that example, the last time a UK weekend chart was topped by a film grossing less than £1m was in October 2010: Will Ferrell’s The Other Guys took the No 1 spot on its third week of release, with £976,000, resisting the challenge of new titles Buried and Made in Dagenham.

Highest new entry: The Limehouse Golem

A UK debut of £371,000 from 277 cinemas will hardly have its distributor Lionsgate turning cartwheels in jubilation, but literary chiller The Limehouse Golem nevertheless earned the distinction of being the weekend’s top new release. The film landed in ninth place in the official comScore chart, achieving a weak site average of £1,341. The literary source material (Peter Ackroyd’s novel), period setting (Victorian London) and a British cast led by Bill Nighy are elements that traditionally chime with the older audience that usually come out more strongly midweek – as it did recently for Their Finest. Still, the rather grisly genre positioning might not play so well for a weekday matinee crowd; this film isn’t exactly My Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The flop: Patti Cake$

Released on a very ambitious 223 prints, Sundance hit Patti Cake$ landed with a commercial thud, grossing £84,000 (£122,000 including previews). The scale of release seemed out of kilter with the film’s marketing visibility. And given limited awareness here for any of the film’s creative participants (such as director Geremy Jasper and lead actor Danielle Macdonald), distributor Fox was relying on critical support and social media buzz to get the film out of the starting gate.

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