Lucy takes 100% of the top spot in the UK
Debuting at the top of the UK charts is action sci-fi Lucy with an impressive £,3,076,997 under its belt on its opening weekend. It marks director Luc Besson’s best-ever UK opening. Ending The Inbetweeners 2’s run at the top of the box office after two weeks, Lucy has also topped the worldwide box office, taking $216.8m (£130.9m) globally against a budget of $40 million.
Scarlett Johansson plays a woman whose brain becomes extremely powerful after taking a strange new substance while acting as a drug mule. This is Johansson’s first big action lead role following supporting turns as Black Widow in Avengers Assemble and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is the third highest-grossing opening for a female-driven action film, behind Wanted and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, both starring Angelina Jolie. It received mainly positive, but also polarising, critical reviews, with praise for Johansson’s performance, entertaining or intriguing themes and visuals, and criticism for having a nonsensical and convoluted plot, especially its focus on the ten percent of brain myth and resulting abilities. Jason Korsner of UK Screen states, “The story is clearly nonsense, but it’s told with such passion, boundless energy and vibrant imagination and it’s so bold – visually, thematically and narratively – that it’s hard not to be enthralled.”
As of Bank Holiday Monday, Lucy stands at £4.17m in the UK in total and generally strong reviews and word-of-mouth should see it shoot past £10m at least.
Despite being prevented from a third week at the top of the chart, The Inbetweeners 2 still enjoyed a prosperous Bank Holiday weekend as it took another £2,366,161 settling it comfortably in second place. The comedy sequel has now grossed £27,631,404 and will soon become only the third 2014 release to cross the £30m mark in the UK, following The Lego Movie and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. If its success continues it may even contend with The Lego Movie’s position as the year’s highest grosser with £34.3m.
Guardians of the Galaxy is in third with £1,259,998 from cinema ticket sales after four weeks on release and brings its total to £21,895,128 in the UK alone. This means the film is now the third highest grossing Marvel Studios outing in the UK, behind Avengers Assemble and Iron Man 3.
Three widely distributed new releases land in fourth, fifth and sixth place.
Blowing up at number four is disaster film Into the Storm which managed to gross an impressive £1,147,657 in the UK last weekend, attempting to overtake Final Destination 5’s £5.4m tally to become director Steven Quale’s best-ever UK performer. The film centres on storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople as they document an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton. Into the Storm received generally mixed reviews by critics with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes stating, “Clumsily scripted and populated with forgettable characters, Into the Storm has little to offer beyond its admittedly thrilling special effects.”
New in fifth place is American crime horror Deliver Us from Evil, which brought in £629,554 and makes this film the lowest ever UK opening for director Scott Derrickson, some way behind his previous lowest, The Exorcism of Emily Rose’s £1.3m. Based on a 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night, the film follows New York police officer Ralph Sarchie as he investigates a series of crimes and joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorising their city. It received generally mixed reviews from critics with Jason Korsner of UK Screen stating, “Deliver Us From Evil is a peculiar blend of police procedural and demonic horror – each part as gory as the other – but reaching for the supernatural when reality runs out of steam feels somewhat lazy. It won’t win people over to the genre, but for those who enjoy a bit of demonic possession, it’ll fill a hole.”
Sixth places sees romantic comedy What If hit the charts with £592,501 on its opening weekend. It is based on T. J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi’s play Toothpaste and Cigars and also premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film centres on Wallace (played by Daniel Radcliffe), who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, as he forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life. What If has received generally positive reviews from critics, although Jason Korsner of UK Screen gave the film a negative review by stating, “What if the film’s title had a question mark at the end, like questions are meant to? What if this romantic comedy had been either romantic or funny? What if Daniel Radcliffe had stuck to what he did best, playing a boy wizard, rather than trying to become a romantic comedy lead, with an inexplicably clipped English accent for someone who would have immigrated to Canada with his parents before he could even talk?”
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives in seventh place from fourth after making £588,994 last weekend. This brings its total in the UK to £30,987,705 after six weeks on release.
Doctor Who fans flocked to special cinema screenings of Peter Capaldi’s first full-length adventure as the Time Lord on Saturday, putting it in eighth place with takings of £522,908. However, this was under a third of the takings from last year’s 50th anniversary special ‘The Day of the Doctor’ which made £1.7 million last year. The first full episode featuring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (he appeared briefly in The Day of the Doctor and was in the Christmas episode The Time of the Doctor) evidently didn’t register with fans as a comparable event.
Secret Cinema’s Back to the Future continues its triumphant run at nine, raking in an extra £520,187 and this makes the cumulative total at £2,818,846, although that does not include the extra show that was added for bank holiday Monday.
Rounding off the top ten is action The Expendables 3, which is last week’s biggest faller, dropping from three to ten after making £511,168. After two weeks on the charts, the film has grossed £3,111,722 and is likely to end up as the lowest grosser of the trilogy in the UK.
Expect the exciting releases of comedy Let’s Be Cops, found footage horror As Above, So Below, drama If I Stay, biographical sports drama Million Dollar Arm, comedy The Grand Seduction, and documentary Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.
Also expect the rise of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which entered at 32 making just £12,117 as it only opened in two West End sites and officially opens Friday.