You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.K. scores best weekend of year

'Dark Knight' drives record frame

LONDON — The U.K. box office biz enjoyed its best weekend so far this year, thanks largely to the arrival of caped crusader “The Dark Knight.”

According to figures released Monday by the Film Distributors’ Assoc., 3.19 million people went to the cinema over the weekend. That was north of the previous best 3.04 million who visited July 4-6. Overall weekend grosses came in at $38.1 million, up 26% on the previous frame.

Bumper results were particularly impressive given the weekend weather was sweltering hot — traditionally not conducive to a rush on indoor entertainment. In fact, Sunday was the hottest day so far this year.

Christopher Nolan’s comicbook actioner “The Dark Knight” led the charge, opening top with a massive $22.3 million (including $5 million in Thursday previews) at 502 screens via Warner Bros.

Local helmer Gurinder Chadha’s “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging” also opened in the top five, placing fourth with a bow of $1.9 million at 372.

Of the holdovers, “Mamma Mia!” was the standout performer. The Abba musical dipped just 38% in its third frame to move the cume to $49 million. Hold was all the more impressive as “Perfect Snogging” moved in on its teen girl demo.

Recent U.K. box office business has been upbeat with most summer blockbusters meeting or exceeding expectations. June 2008 admissions were up 5% on June 2007 thanks largely to the pulling power of “Sex and the City” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Buoyant recent biz supports claims that cinema can be remarkably recession resistant. While Brits may be shelving their expensive foreign holiday plans, the more affordable family treat of a trip to the cinema is still on the menu.

More Film

  • Other Angle Bows Raft of French

    Other Angle Bows Raft of French Comedies at UniFrance's Paris Rendez-Vous (EXCLUSIVE)

    Other Angle has picked up international sales rights to “A Good Doctor” with Michel Blanc, “Just The Three of Us” with Catherine Frot, and “The Father Figure” in the run-up to the UniFrance’s Rendez-Vous in Paris. Directed by Eric Besnard, “The Father Figure” is a supernatural comedy drama following a writer who mourns the death [...]

  • Playables and Double Fine Film 'KIDS'

    Playables and Double Fine Creation 'Kids' Chosen for Berlinale

    “Kids,” a short film from Playables and Double Fine Presents, has been officially selected to screen at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, announced Thursday via press release. The Berlin International Film Festival, commonly called the Berlinale, is one of the largest film festivals in the world. “Kids” will screen in a Berlinale sidebar called Generation. [...]

  • Roland Joffe

    Roland Joffe to Direct Mobster Drama 'The Legitimate Wiseguy'

    Roland Joffe will direct the independent mobster drama “The Legitimate Wiseguy,” Variety has learned exclusively. Joffe received Academy Award nominations for best director for “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. He also helmed “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Forgiven,” “City of Joy,” “Time Traveller,” and “There [...]

  • Christian Bale (left) as Dick Cheney

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the official selection of this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” has also been added, but will screen out of competition. “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content