Golden Globe-winning musical La La Land has opened strongly at the UK box office, taking well over £6m in its first weekend to dominate the charts. No other film comes close, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in second place on £1.8m – though the latter film is in its fifth week of play.
Director Damien Chazelle’s homage to the Hollywood musical, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is distributor Lionsgate’s widest ever UK release, with 606 screens. It proved justified, as the film achieved a site average over £10K after near-universal rave reviews. However, it still fell short of the record figures for a musical achieved by Les Misérables, which opened in 2013 with £8.12m.
In a stark measure of their comparative commercial strengths, one of La La Land’s chief awards-season rivals, Manchester By the Sea, also opened this week. With a much lower site count, Kenneth Lonergan’s widely admired grief drama performed respectably, landing at No 6 with £0.73m. It recorded the second best site average of the week – just under £5K – but it was less than half of La La Land’s.
Having risen to the top of the 2016 list, Rogue One has moved to 12th on the list of highest grossing films of all time at the UK box office, having overtaken 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with this week’s earnings, to reach £62.7m in total. Next in its sights: The Fellowship of the Ring, which finished on £63m in 2001. Rogue One’s continuing strength is in sharp contrast with Assassin’s Creed, whose takings dropped by more than 80% to take it to No 4 on its second week, after debuting at No 1.
Live By Night, Ben Affleck’s gangster flick, performed a little better on its UK release after flaming out in the US: it managed to reach No 7 in the chart with a not-especially-impressive £0.69m. But this must have seemed like manna from heaven after its dismal expansion in the US last week, where it failed to break into the Top 10 despite playing on over 2,800 screens. Conversely, horror film The Bye Bye Man, which roundly defeated Live By Night in the US, trickled to No 9 in the UK. There was even less interest in Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth instalment in the gothic horror franchise featuring Kate Beckinsale; despite solid US figures and chart placing (it opened at No 4), it only made No 11 in the UK, with a wide-ish 260 screen schedule.
UK box office top 10, 13-15 January
1. La La Land, £6.6m from 606 sites (new)
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, £1.8m from 596 sites. Total: £62.7m
3. Moana, £1.1m from 569 sites. Total: £17.6m
4. Assassin’s Creed, £0.95m from 525 sites. Total: £6.95m
5. Passengers, £0.78m from 420 sites. Total: £11.8m
6. Manchester By the Sea, £0.73m from 146 sites (new)
7. Live By Night. £0.69m from 449 sites (new)
8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, £0.56m from 411 sites, Total: £54m
9. The Bye Bye Man, £0.53m from 291 sites (new)
10. Why Him?, £0.36m from 365 sites. Total: £4.6m
Source: The Guardian