The weekend before a big blockbuster is often quiet at the box office, as distributors are reluctant to release a major film, only to see it get clobbered seven days later. Consequently, with the summer blockbuster season officially kicking off this Thursday with ‘Iron Man 3’, the market is relatively becalmed. Even so, cinema owners could have done without the spring sunshine that finally arrived across much of the country on Saturday and Sunday, reducing audience numbers especially for matinees and early evening showtimes.
Including Wednesday/Thursday previews totalling £652,000, ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ opened at the chart summit with £2.25m. Ignoring the previews, top title remains Tom Cruise sci-fi ‘Oblivion’, with £1.66m. For Gerard Butler, Olympus represents a welcome return to commercial form after his last film ‘Playing for Keep’s stumbled out of the gate with £507,000 including £188,000 in previews, ignominiously landing outside the top 10. The actor’s last straight-up action role, ‘Law Abiding Citizen’, debuted with £1.49m in November 2009. His biggest opening remains ‘300’, with £4.75m including previews of £784,000, back in March 2007.
Predictably, matinee-reliant family film ‘The Croods’ was one of the worst affected by the weekend sunshine, falling 66% from the previous weekend.full story