UK Box Office

The fake winner: Paper Towns

For the second week in a row, Inside Out has been denied the top spot by an official chart champ boosting its “weekend” tally with hefty previews. A week ago it was Pixels that elbowed aside the Pixar hit, thanks to four extra days of takings. Now it’s the turn of Paper Towns, boosting the £744,000 it earned over the Friday-to-Sunday period with an additional £1.33m grossed on Monday to Thursday last week. Without that extra box office, Paper Towns would have landed in sixth place, behind Inside Out, Sinister 2, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Man from UNCLE and Pixels. But with official takings of £2.07m, Paper Towns nabs the top spot. The chart win may not be deserved, but distributor Fox nevertheless has just cause to celebrate the film’s box office so far. In the US, after five weeks on release, Paper Towns has earned $31m, and has now run out of puff. An equivalent UK result, by rule of thumb, is £3.1m. Fox UK has already achieved over £2m after just seven days of play, and should sail past that £3.1m target.

The real winner: Inside Out

Once again, the Pixar animation must console itself with a moral victory. Disney will be pretty pleased to see the film earn more at the weekend than any other film on release, and this in Inside Out’s fifth week of play. The last time a film occupied the chart summit so deep into its run was back in December 2012 with Skyfall. Inside Out added £3.25m over the past seven days, bringing its total to £30.65m. That sees it overtake A Bug’s Life in the all-time Pixar chart (although ticket prices were significantly lower in 1999). It’s also breathing down the neck of Monsters University, on £30.76m. The effect of the weather at the weekend can be clearly viewed with Inside Out’s daily tallies. Takings rose from Friday to Saturday, as you’d expect on a family film, and then rose again on a rainy Sunday (whereas traditionally you’d expect to see a dip). Outside holiday periods, family films usually drop significantly on weekdays. In the summer, it’s a different story, and Inside Out has been remarkably consistent all last week, with Wednesday better than any of the weekend days, and Tuesday and Thursday both ahead of Friday and Saturday. There’s also a strong adult skew on this title, so it’s by no means just about the family audience.

The top new entrant: Sinister 2

If Paper Towns’ extensive previews are excluded from its tally, top new release at the weekend was Sinister 2, the latest hit from prolific producer Jason Blum. The original Sinister debuted in October 2012 with £1.44m. This one has begun with a softer £1.07m. It’s fair to say that the Sinister brand isn’t as potent as fellow Blumhouse franchises Paranormal Activity and Insidious. Across the weekend, takings dipped from Friday to Saturday and again on Sunday – par for the course with a horror sequel, but not even the rain on Sunday (a boost to box office for most films in the market) could arrest the decline.

The battling comedies: Vacation and The Bad Education Movie

While the performance of a film like Sinister 2 was moderately guessable, the same could not be said of The Bad Education Movie. It was reasonable to assume that it would perform significantly below the bar set by The Inbetweeners Movie, but even a third – or a quarter, fifth or sixth – of that number would be a fine result, given that the 2011 sitcom spinoff began with £8.64m plus previews of £4.57m. In fact, Bad Education has kicked off with just 9% of the initial tally for The Inbetweeners Movie, and that’s ignoring the earlier film’s rich previews. TheJack Whitehall comedy opened with a so-so £595,000. There’s still time before schools, sixth-form colleges and universities return for the autumn, so Bad Education is well placed to grab some more end-of-summer cash from the target audience, before a rich afterlife on DVD and VOD. Still, even Keith Lemon: The Film opened with £1.20m in the exact same late-August spot three years ago, more than double The Bad Education Movie’s debut. Thanks to previews totaling £29,400, Vacation sneaks one place higher than The Bad Education Movie in the chart, with official takings of £609,000. It’s a middling result for a middling reboot of a comedy franchise that may be fondly remembered in some quarters, but has never been commercially potent in the UK.

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