UK Box Office

Pacific Rim (12A)

The third successive sunny weekend continued to see tough conditions for film exhibition in the UK, with significant drops for existing films, and below-expected numbers for new entrants. At least there wasn’t a historic Wimbledon final to contend with. Top title was Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University, with £3.46m, well ahead of rival new entrant Pacific Rim.

Disney cheerfully announced, “Monsters University Withstands the Heat as it Comes Top of the Class at #1 at UK Box Office,” adding that the film had achieved strong evening business, indicating a broad audience that extends beyond the family market. Fair enough, but that’s only the 11th best three-day debut of 2013, behind Iron Man 3Man of Steel,Despicable Me 2Fast & Furious 6Les MiserablesStar Trek Into DarknessThe Hangover Part IIIThe Croods and Disney’s own Wreck-It Ralph and Oz the Great and Powerful. Predecessor Monsters Inc debuted with a much more impressive £9.20m back in 2002, including previews of £2.71m.

In Disney’s favour are the strong legs often exhibited by animated features. For example, The Croods opened with £3.52m plus £1.85m in previews, and is now at an impressive £26.2m. Monsters University has posted a very similar three-day debut, and could easily end up with a comparable number, especially with the whole school summer holiday ahead of it.

Animation is so far proving particularly robust in 2013, with The Croods, Despicable Me 2 (£27.1m) and Wreck-It Ralph (£23.8m) among the top eight grossers so far. Despicable Me 2 is steadily rising up the all-time animation rankings, and now has Shrek (£29.0m), A Bug’s Life (£29.4m) and Chicken Run (£29.5m) in its sights.

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