Some 80% of indoor cinemas across England, Scotland and Wales reopened on Monday (May 17) after months of being shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Judging by the first two days of box office collections, U.K. audiences are eagerly quenching their thirst for cinema.
Box office collections were £633,758 on Monday and £474,055 on Tuesday, totalling £1.1 million ($1.6 million).
As many as 14 films opened on Monday, though it was the modern take of the fuzzy-tailed children’s classic that dominated. Sony’s family-oriented title “Peter Rabbit 2” opened across 334 sites to collect a strong £393,841 ($557,515) over Monday and Tuesday, according to figures released by Comscore.
Disney’s Oscar champion “Nomadland,” already available to Disney Plus subscribers in the region from April 30, bowed in second place with £173,085 from 259 locations.
Warner Bros.’ creature face-off epic “Godzilla vs Kong” collected £164,726 from 296 sites in third place, while Lionsgate’s horror franchise addition, “Spiral: From The Book Of Saw,” took £144,317 from 198 locations in fourth place.
Another horror film, Sony’s “The Unholy,” scared up £70,160 from 171 sites in fifth place.
The rest of the top 10 for Monday and Tuesday are all Warner titles: “Mortal Kombat,” “Judas And The Black Messiah,” “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” “Tom and Jerry” and “The Little Things.”
The more traditional release day of Friday (May 21) will see several more releases. Republic Film is opening “The United Way” and Billie Piper’s directorial debut “Rare Beasts”; Dogwoof has “The Human Factor”; Magnetes Pictures delivers “Ściema Po Polsku”; and Vertigo Releasing offers “My New York Year.”
Cinemas in Northern Ireland are due to reopen May 24.
A recent study commissioned by the cross-industry body Cinema First revealed that 38% of U.K. audiences planned to return within the first month of sites reopening, and another 34% within the first few months of reopening.
The study also said that teens, young adults and families would be among the first to return. Over 59% of audience members surveyed agreed that the cinema experience could not be recreated at home, citing spectacular visuals, immersive sound and the unique atmosphere that only the cinema can provide.