In movie land, three’s often good company, but especially when it comes to trilogies.
The $8.9 million opening for Focus Features’ “The World’s End” — the third installment in Brit helmer Edgar Wright’s “Three-Flavour” trilogy, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost — nearly doubles the domestic opening of “Hot Fuzz” in 2007, while “Shaun of the Dead” opened to just $3.3 million in 2004.
Though the weekend result for the apocalyptic-themed spoof hardly stops the box office world from spinning, it’s still an impressive figure considering Focus released the film at half the number of locations as “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” which just narrowly beat “World’s End” in three days.
For “World’s End,” the box office success signals a steady fan growth for Wright, who has been promoting the film heavily in the media, along with Pegg and Frost. Wright also has a significant number of followers on Twitter, where he’s also been actively tubthumping the film.
Thanks to all of you in US and Can for your ongoing love for ‘The World’s End’. You have made this Brit very happy. Cheers to you.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 25, 2013
Meanwhile, Pegg, who’s played Scotty in the last two “Star Trek” reboots, has more than 3 million followers on Twitter.
What an extraordinary adventure we have been on, over the last 5 weeks. Our work here is done. *walks off into smoke. sound of coughing*
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) August 24, 2013
Often referred to as a modern Monty Python troupe, the threesome’s growing fanbase was evident as theaters — which historically have performed well for Wright films — overperformed in cities like Seattle, Boston and Austin, Texas.
Moreover, Focus held marathon screenings of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” leading up to a 10 p.m. Thursday screening of “The World’s End.” The marathons contributed a solid roughly $800,000, according to the distrib.
“Their audience has grown to a degree,” said Focus distribution topper Jack Foley, referring to the threesome of Wright, Pegg and Frost. “Certainly, you could see a broadening of the age group.”
Wright’s fanbase is poised to grow even larger as he’s been tapped to direct Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” which will bow Nov. 6, 2015.