Expendables bombs as early UK release boosts Brave and Bourne
It was a gamble that, on the surface of it, seems to have paid off for the distributors of Brave and the Bourne Legacy. Releasing the films a full four days early, gave them an edge on the only real competition among the debuting features, The Expendables 2.
Because paid previews count towards the “opening weekend” figures, the entire week’s takings for The Bourne Legacy saw it take a comfortable second place in the box office chart. Brave released UK wide on the same day, last Monday, but had opened even earlier in Scotland and Northern Ireland, raking in even more money to add to the official opening weekend to put it clear at the top of the chat, with £8.3 million, to Bourne’s £4.6 million.
The only other new release to make an impact on the chart was The Expendables 2, which while better than its predecessor, fared worse at the box office. With a Thursday release raking in £1.9 million, the butch-camp 80s action revival was could manage only fourth place in the chart, behind a £2.1 million pound weekend for Ted, on its third weekend of release.
Whether Brave and The Bourne Legacy’s early releases were what threw them so far ahead of The Expendables 2, or whether it was the latter’s poorer reviews, will be clearer when the fallout from the second weekend’s release has been published, so it’s too early for other studios to judge whether the technique will help them gain the initiative with their big releases.
As The Dark Knight Rises shows, it’s not just the opening weekend that counts anyway; it opened on the traditional Friday and still opened in first place, and after five weekends in release, it still came fifth in the box office chart, with more than £1.5 million, bringing its UK total to £49.8 million, taking it into the all-time Top 20.