UK Box Office

The winners: Warcraft and Turtles

With an official opening number of £3.62m, Warcraft: The Beginning wins the box-office chart, just ahead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadowson £3.5m. Both are seven-day figures. The films opened on bank holiday Monday last week with the half-term holiday under way. Warcraft’s figure includes £2.17m in previews earned on its first four days, while the Turtles picked up £2.02m over the Monday-to-Thursday period.

Apt comparisons for Warcraft are hard to frame, since notable big-screen adaptations of video games have been scant in recent years. Reboot/sequelHitman: Agent 47 debuted last August with £961,000 including previews of £171,000. As for Out of the Shadows, predecessor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesbegan in October 2014 with £4.79m, including £1.56m in previews. A comparison of the three-day weekend periods reveals that the new film is significantly behind the pace: £1.47m, compared with £3.22m.

The real winner: Me Before You

Landing at number three in the chart with £1.79m, Me Before You in fact outgrossed both Warcraft: The Beginning and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows on the weekend period. The film’s preview takings were a negligible £42,000. The adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestseller faced the challenge of a controversy erupting over the film’s storyline: paraplegic accident victim (Sam Claflin) chooses to end his life. While the news stories increased awareness, it’s hard to say how they affected box-office takings.

Me Before You enjoyed a happier start than Claflin’s previous chicklit adaptation.Love, Rosie, based on the Cecelia Ahern novel, kicked off with a disappointing £482,000, including £110,000 in previews in 2014. That film was more of a traditional romantic comedy, whereas Me Before You is a tragic romantic drama with comedic elements. The film’s success follows that of teary teen-cancer romance The Fault in Our Stars (2014), which earned £11.4m at the UK box office.

The half-term performers

The fact that the Warcraft and Turtles movies played for seven days in the reporting period allows easy comparison with films that were already on release. Over the same period, Alice Through the Looking Glass saw its total rise by £4.77m – significantly more than both of the top two films in the chart. Alice now stands at £7m after 10 days, a number that looks rosier than its anaemic £2.23m opening. Still, the film is way behind the pace of its predecessor: Alice in Wonderland stood at £22.75m at the same stage of its run. Through the Looking Glass is at 31% of that figure.

X-Men: Apocalypse also enjoyed a half-term boost, adding £3.72m in the seven days to 5 June – more than Warcraft or the Turtles managed over the same period. Apocalypse now stands at £15.86m, which is ahead of the lifetime total of X-Men: First Class (£15.10m) and the first X-Men (£14.98m) as well as 2013’s The Wolverine (£13.77m). These figures are not adjusted for inflation. Apocalypse will soon overtake X-Men Origins: Wolverine (£16.38m lifetime).
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