It was a closely fought weekend at the U.K. and Ireland box office between “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Pathaan,” with the former edging the top slot.
Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” topped the charts for the seventh weekend in a row with £2.1 million ($2.6 million) for a total of £70.6 million, per numbers from Comscore.
Yash Raj Films’ Bollywood film “Pathaan” debuted close behind in second place with £1.9 million. Directed by Siddharth Anand and starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, the film released midweek on Jan. 25 across 223 locations. The film collected £1.4 million for the weekend (Friday-Sunday) and £1.9 million in total including Wednesday and Thursday.
On Jan. 25, “Pathaan” had the highest opening day ever for an Indian title in the U.K. with £319,000. No film had ever crossed the £300,000 mark on a single day prior to this. This was also the highest single day collection for any Indian film at the U.K. box office. “Pathaan” broke its own record on consecutive days, earning £345,000 on Friday and £556,000 on Saturday, which is currently the highest-grossing single day for an Indian title.
The previous first day record at the U.K. box office for an Indian film was Yash Raj’s “Sultan” (2016) which collected £271,000.
“Pathaan” also became the second Indian film to debut in second position in the U.K. after “RRR,” which debuted with £650,204 in 2022 and finished its run with £974,990. The film is also the highest grossing Indian film in the U.K. post pandemic, surging past “Ponniyin Selvan: I,” which had an opening weekend of £745,386 and a lifetime gross of £1.2 million.
The highest-grossing Indian film of all time at the U.K. box office is Yash Raj’s “Dhoom 3,” which collected £2.7 million in 2013.
The weekend also saw four other debuts. Lionsgate’s “Plane” bowed in third place with £1.16 million and Entertainment One’s “The Fabelmans” in fourth position with £1.06 million. Trinity’s “The Wandering Earth II” debuted in ninth position with £385,959 and Trafalgar’s concert film “Billie Eilish: Live At The O2 (Extended Cut)” in 10th with £329,407.
There is a glut of releases this week. Midweek, on Feb. 1, Sony is opening anime “Sword Art Online The Movie: Progressive Scherzo of Deep Night” and Trafalgar “BTS: Yet To Come In Cinemas,” featuring the globally popular Korean band.
There are three wide 300+ location releases on Feb. 3. Universal is opening “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish,” with a voice cast of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinaut, Olivia Coleman, Harvey Guillén, Samson Kayo, Wagner Moura, Anthony Mendez, John Mulaney, Florence Pugh, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Ray Winstone; and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin,” starring Dave Bautista.
A24 is bowing Darren Aronofsky’s awards season darling “The Whale,” starring Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau and Samantha Morton.
Picturehouse is opening Alice Diop’s Venice winner “Saint Omer,” BFI Jerzy Skolimowski’s Cannes-winning and Oscar nominated “EO” and Modern Dina Amer’s Red Sea winner “You Resemble Me.”
Other openers include Signature’s “She is Love,” Dartmouth’s “Husband,” Independent’s “Heading West: A Story About A Band Called Shooglenifty,” MusicFilmNetwork’s “I Get Knocked Down” and Park Circus’ 70th anniversary 4K restored version of “Roman Holiday.”