UK Box Office

Iron Man 3 tops UK box office

Iron Man 3 still holding strong while The Look of Love is sadly unrequited

Three’s the magic number for Shane Black’s superhero sequel as it doubles the takings of Iron Man 2. Meanwhile, Michael Winterbottom’s Paul Raymond biopic heads south.

After four days, Iron Man 3 was running just 13% behind The Avengers at the same stage of its UK run, suggesting that the film would finish a lot closer to the superhero team-up (£51.9m) than to either of the earlier Iron Man movies. Seven days later, and it’s a similar story, with Iron Man 3 at an impressive £24.6m as of Sunday night, a slim 18% behind Avengers at the same point of release. If it continues at a similar pace, Iron Man 3 should end up around £42-43m here. The first Iron Man film maxed out at £17.4m, while the sequel made it to £21.3m, so the third episode looks set to double its predecessor.

With bank holiday takings added in, Iron Man 3 is already the second-biggest-grossing release of 2013, behind just January’s Les Misérables, which is on £40.5m. Recent days saw it overtake both February’s Wreck-It Ralph(£23.5m) and March’s The Croods (£25.1m). So far this year, each month has witnessed the arrival of at least one £20m-plus hit.

Sandwiched between the previous week’s Iron Man 3 and the forthcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, last weekend provided an opportunity for the market to draw breath. No fresh blockbusters arrived, although a few distributors grabbed the chance to seize counter-programming opportunities. Most commercially potent was campus comedy 21 and Over, which shrugged off mostly discouraging reviews to land in second place, with £772,000. That’s just over half the debut of Superbad, which kicked off its run in September 2007 with £1.48m. On the other hand, it’s better than house-party flick Project X, which featured 21 and Over star Miles Teller cameoing as himself, and which began with £562,000 in March 2012. It’s also a lot better than Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies, which stumbled out of the gate in March 2005 with £284,000. Pitch Perfect, a sweeter-flavoured campus comedy featuring 21 and Over’s Skylar Astin, debuted last December with £952,000.

Also firmly in the counter-programming zone is tween dance flick All Stars, a junior spin on the street-dance movie phenomenon. From Vertigo Films, producers of the StreetDance hits and kid flick Horrid Henry, All Stars looked to locate an audience somewhere in the middle of those franchises and picked up £560,000 over the three-day weekend, and £797,000 including Bank Holiday Monday. Horrid Henry, starring All Stars‘ Theo Stevenson, kicked off with £1.29m in July 2011.

Also in wide release, Colin Farrell revenge thriller Dead Man Down was predictably lacklustre, with £294,000 over the official Friday-Sunday weekend period. Disney nature documentary Chimpanzee failed to land much of a punch, earning a slim £55,000 from 195 cinemas.

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