Captain Marvel lords it over Us at UK box office

The winner: Captain Marvel

While Jordan Peele’s horror film Us stormed to the top of the US box office with a giant $71m debut, Captain Marvel resisted the challenge in the UK, holding on to the summit with third-weekend takings of £3.38m. Total after 17 days is a handy £29.5m.

Having previously overtaken Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel has now moved further up the Marvel league table by overtaking Guardians of the Galaxy (£28.5m), as well as Sony-Marvel collaborations Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. Captain Marvel is also ahead of the six X-Men films plus the two Wolverines and Logan – all made in collaboration with 20th Century Fox.

The runner-up: Us

While it had to settle for the No 2 spot in the UK, Us gave Captain Marvel a run for its money, debuting with £2.77m. That compares with a UK opening of £2.16m for Peele’s Get Out in March 2017. Us actually beat Captain Marvel on Friday, but fell behind on Saturday and Sunday.

Compared with the US numbers, the UK performance is disappointing. Rule of thumb says a film in the UK should achieve one tenth of its US number, which suggests a UK debut of £7.1m.

However, Get Out also failed to match the indicated UK result, with lifetime totals of $176m in the US and £10.4m in UK. In fact, Get Out was relatively weak in international (non-US) markets, achieving a total of $79.4m – less than half the US number. South Korea and the UK were relative bright spots.

The crowdpleaser: Fisherman’s Friends

Declining by the smallest margin of any film in the Top 10 is Fisherman’s Friends, down just 16% from its opening session. Second-weekend takings of £973,000 push the total after 10 days to £3.36m.

The comedy – which is hooked to the true tale of a group of shanty-singing Cornish fishermen – is striking a chord with audiences outside London. It arrived in cinemas hard on the heels of Fighting With My Family – another story of unlikely success. Stephen Merchant’s wrestling comedy has grossed £5.25m so far.

The arthouse alternative: The White Crow

With £223,000 from 87 cinemas, biographical drama The White Crow has achieved the third-highest site average (£2,526) of any film on release, after Captain Marvel and Us. Including previews, the tally for Ralph Fiennes’ Rudolf Nureyev tale rises to £327,000.

This outcome is better than the debut session for Fiennes’ take on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, which began with £158,000 from 124 sites in January 2012 (£169,000 including previews). Two years later, Fiennes presented The Invisible Woman – in which he starred as Charles Dickens – launching with £132,000 from a relatively tight 51 locations. Final tallies on these two titles were £1.02m and £889,000, so Fiennes looks likely to achieve his best result as a director with The White Crow.

The market

Despite decent showings from Captain Marvel and Us, the market is 17% down on the equivalent weekend from 2018, which was led by Peter Rabbit and Pacific Rim: Uprising. Easter is later this year, which is a factor, and the UK box office should heat up now thanks to the arrival this weekend of Tim Burton’s live-action remake of classic Disney animation Dumbo. Alternatives include Willem Dafoe, Oscar-nominated as Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, grisly Norwegian black-metal tale Lords of Chaos and Carol Morley’s Out of Blue, starring Patricia Clarkson.

Top 10 films, 22-24 March

1. Captain Marvel, £3,378,583 from 632 sites. Total: £29,494,638 (three weeks)

2. Us, £2,766,839 from 580 sites (new)

3. Fisherman’s Friends, £972,996 from 537 sites. Total: £3,361,336 (two weeks)

4. What Men Want, £515,410 from 479 sites. Total: £1,853,240 (two weeks)

5. Fighting With My Family, £388,963 from 426 sites. Total: £5,250,911 (four weeks)

6. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, £377,569 from 577 sites. Total: £18,017,036 (seven weeks)

7. The White Crow, £326,997 from 88 sites (new)

8. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, £321,068 from 539 sites. Total: £19,115,065 (eight weeks)

9. Instant Family, £295,945 from 396 sites. Total: £10,228,494 (six weeks)

10. Five Feet Apart, £253,341 from 204 sites (new)

Other openers

The Great Escape With Dan Snow: 75th Anniversary, £172,550 from 353 sites (Sunday event)

Kesari, £159,046 (including £17,419 previews) from 73 sites

Three Little Pigs – Northern Ballet Bite Sized Ballets, £16,941 from 130 sites

Minding the Gap, £12,943 from 17 sites

Sorry Angel, £8,292 from five sites

The Crossing, £6,501 from 12 sites

Sharkwater Extinction, £1,296 from four sites

Thanks to Comscore. All figures relate to takings in UK and Ireland cinemas.


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