When box office results are published on a Monday morning it often comes as quite a shock just how out of step we can be with the rest of country.
It was becoming increasingly clear over the last couple of weeks that booking Disney’s expensive effects bonanza John Carter was a mistake.
Although booking Bel Ami was an even bigger mistake. There are times when I really shouldn’t be left in charge.
Sure enough the weekend business was appalling, although I’m not entirely sure why. The weather didn’t help admittedly, it was gloriously springlike. SFX magazine has a rather good analysis of the broader situation here.
Imagine my surprise when the numbers came out Monday and John Carter was number one at the box office. Wait, what?
Here is Charles Gant’s excellent weekly blog in the Guardian that dissects the weekend figures. Charles understands the business very well and writes with rare authority about the UK box office. When my bank manager is trying to understand why there’s no money coming in during the quiet times, I always point him in the direction of Charles’ Guardian blog.
So here is the UK top five for the weekend of Friday 9th March 2012:
1. John Carter, £1,960,414 from 456 sites (New)
2. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, £1,787,352 from 499 sites. Total: £10,855,596
3. The Woman in Black, £1,131,402 from 435 sites. Total: £19,485,541
4. This Means War, £1,017,075 from 439 sites . Total: £3,591,896
5. Safe House, £774,745 from 382 sites. Total: £6,131,580
Yep, there it is. Top film.
Now consider this, we sold 122 tickets for John Carter over eleven shows in three days. Terrible. Marigold Hotel, however, sold 1200 tickets. Ten times the number.
How can we be that far adrift of the rest of the nation? Is Uckfield and it’s surrounding area really that much different from everywhere else?
Even allowing for the slight bump from 3D that John Carter had (we didn’t bother with poxy 3D) it doesn’t explain such a disparity.
We were always going to punch way above our weight on Marigold I understand that, but john Carter should really have done better if Disney’s figures are to be believed.
Bel Ami was a stinker everywhere, so our figures were about right. Which actually came as a relief perversely.
It’s going to be up there with our worst grossers of all time. The only way it could have taken less money is if Adam Sandler had been in it.