UK Box Office

This week’s snow and ice meant big drops for every title, despite a decent crop of new releases including Django Unchained

Les Miserables … Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

The winner: snow

The first properly sunny weekend of the year usually proves devastating to cinemagoing in the UK, but snow and frost can also have an impact, as has just been witnessed. Despite the arrival of a decent crop of new releases – notably the latest Quentin Tarantino flick and the 3D reissue of a Pixar hit – takings overall fell 36% from the previous weekend. All the films in the top 10 that were already on release fell by at least 40% from the previous frame, with Quartet‘s 60% drop in particular suggesting that the older audience was especially discouraged by icy pavements and dangerous driving conditions.

Despite a dip of 46%, Les Misérables nevertheless managed a second weekend of £4.41m, and an impressive 10-day cumulative total of £17.36m. Tom Hooper’s film overtook the lifetime totals of Chicago (£16.4m) and Evita (£14.2m) at the weekend, becoming the fourth biggest musical of all time, behind Mamma Mia (£69.2m), High School Musical (£22.7m) and Moulin Rouge (£18.5m). Les Misérables and the market in general saw the gentlest drops in Republic of Ireland, the Border region, central Scotland and the West Country, and overall the biggest falls were in the Midlands and Wales. It’s fair to assume that these patterns correlate to the impact of the wintry weather.

Friday was the day most affected, with big plunges from the previous Friday across the market. Down 49%, Life of Pi suffered the first serious fall of its five-week run to date. With £24.15m so far, it’s the 10th-highest grossing release of 2012. Down 59%, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has achieved a cumulative total just shy of £50m as of Sunday night (see top 10 chart, below), and will in fact have reached that milestone on Monday. Peter Jackson’s film still has a little way to go to overtake Avengers Assemble (£51.6m) to become the third-biggest release of 2012, behind The Dark Knight Rises (£56.3m) and Skyfall (£102m).

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