UK box office

Yellow fever hits the UK, while Amy delivers the biggest ever homegrown documentary debut as it tops the half-million mark


Minions … everything’s coming up yellow. Photograph: Illumination Entertainment/AP

The winner: Minions
Easily resisting the challenge of the latest Terminator and Magic Mike films, Minions held on to the top spot with second-frame takings of £6.24m, a 46% decline on the opening weekend. After 10 days, the yellow urchins have amassed an impressive £20.97m in the UK, with a continuing clear run at family audiences until Pixar’s Inside Out arrives on 24 July.

After two weekends of play, Despicable Me 2 stood at a higher £22.91m, although the comparison is not quite apt, since Universal pursued a paid-previews strategy with that film, so this was a 12-day figure. Minions has already passed the lifetime total of the original Despicable Me (£20.2m). Second-weekend takings for Despicable Me 2 were just shy of £4m, so Minions is already exhibiting sturdier legs than its franchise predecessor. It will need them: Inside Out is likely to pose a more potent threat than the equivalent title – Monsters University – did in the summer of 2013.

Minions is already past the lifetime totals of animated hits such as Tangled(£20.5m), Kung Fu Panda (£20.3m) and Happy Feet (£19.2m). Universal will be hoping to match Despicable Me 2’s final tally of £47.5m.

The runner-up: Terminator Genisys
With a debut of £3.79m including £716,000 in previews, Terminator Genisys has left the starting blocks behind the pace of its predecessor in the franchise.Terminator: Salvation began with £6.94m, including £2.16m in previews, in 2009, on its way to a lifetime total of £14.24m. Top performer for the franchise in terms of box office was 2003’s Terminator: Rise of the Machines, with £18.9m. If adjusted for inflation, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (£18.2m) would be a convincing winner. So far, fans are rating Terminator Genisys much more generously than critics, with a 7.1/10 IMDb user rating, compared to a 39/100 MetaCritic score.

The documentary hit: Amy
With £397,000 from 133 cinemas, plus £127,000 in previews, Amy has already cleared more than £500,000 in the UK, the biggest ever debut for a British documentary, not counting concert films such as One Direction: This Is Us. Asif Kapadia’s previous documentary, Senna, began with £375,000 from a tighter rollout at 67 cinemas, eventually reaching £3.17m. The biggest ever opening in the UK for a non-concert documentary, regardless of country of origin, was achieved in 2004 by Fahrenheit 9/11. Michael Moore’s film began with £1.30m, on its way to a total of £6.55m.

Given Amy Winehouse’s committed fanbase, the relative recentness of her death and the controversies that have greeted the film, Amy was always likely to see a strong opening, as core audiences rushed to see it. The challenge for distributor Altitude is now to broaden the appeal, emphasising Amy’s admired qualities (83/100 at MetaCritic) and the pedigree of triple Bafta winner Kapadia.

The last non-concert documentary to reach £1m in the UK was 2012’s The Imposter, with £1.13m – and the same year Marley came close with £991,000. Amy looks a dead cert to exceed the box office of both those two films, but matching Senna’s huge total is a big ask. The healthy previews tally for Amy includes a live Q&A screening with Kapadia, satellite-beamed from London’s Picturehouse Central to 285 cinemas on 30 June, as well as a two-night Secret Cinema special at London club Koko.

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