With the exception of the overlooked Young Adult and Martha Marcy May Marlene everything seems pretty much in order this week. Chronicle goes straight in at number one, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island pulling in the family audience and Jack and Jill gaining a well deserved and generous haul of almost a million pounds. Wait, what? Jack and Jill is the worst thing ever committed to celluloid since Grown Ups. And people are watching it? Oh God…Where are the codes to the nukes?
The Winner – Chronicle
So, it’s finally happened. After three weeks at the top War Horse has finally fallen out of the top three so if you had an each-way bet on for it this week you’re fresh out of luck I’m afraid. Stepping into the top spot however is Chronicle, Josh Trank’s superb and relatively low budget superhero thriller that’s tailor-made for the MTV loving teenager in all of us. However not to sell it short it is an impressive piece of film making. The found footage thing may have the been there, done that, got the motion sickness feel to it but it’s employed to great effect.
Opening to first weekend receipts of £2,193,072 it hasn’t fared nearly as well as contemporary pieces Cloverfield (£3.49 million), District 9 (£2.29 million) and Paranormal Activity (£3.59 million) but add into the equation the great word of mouth the film is sure to be getting and that Britain was buried under a blanket of cold, white, box office hindering snow at the time of release and next week’s performance is already looking promising.
The film’s performance also marks a new milestone in UK box-office history with the 26 year old Trank becoming the youngest director ever to direct a chart topping movie. The screenwriter – John Landis’ son Max – isn’t all that senior either.
I think Roger Ebert put it best when he wrote that, “sometimes a movie arrives out of the blue that announces the arrival of considerable new talents”. Chronicle has done just that and it’s box-office haul will won’t harm their chances of gainful future employment either. A resounding success I think you’ll agree.
The Loser – Young Adult
First up we have Martha Marcy May Marlene, an excellent film and a sadly overlooked one seemingly clocking up only £106,967 from a paultry 100 sites after having critical praise heaped on it seemingly like the dirt onto a box-office grave. Even so it’s worldwide is nearing the $3 million mark so I’m sure Sean Durkin has done ok for himself.
However it’s got to be the poorly distribute Young Adult that takes the crown this week. Written and directed by the team that brought us indie sensibilitied sensation Juno way back in 2007, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s follow-ups (Up in the Air and Jennifer’s Body respectively) were received with varying degrees of critical warmth. Now they’ve teamed up again and their decently reviewed latest has found its way onto a measly 157 sites totting up an underwhelming £137,284. Very disappointing. Especially when you compare it to this:
The Rubbish – Jack and Jill
This week over at Rotten Tomatoes I bet you’ll never guess what the worst reviewed film of the week is. Anyone for Jack and Jill? Well apparently so since the film which garnered a positive review score of only 3% on the review aggregator managed a hugely undeserved haul of £848,814 from 324 sites that should quite frankly be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
Someone else who should be thoroughly ashamed is me as I donated a full £6.20 to the cause with nothing but hope against hope in my heart and a head full of commitment to HeyUGuys’s reviewing integrity. That I wrote last week; “is it wrong that I’m contemplating going to see Jack and Jill (and thus paying for it) just so I can kick it to death in writing and be justified in doing so?” is neither here nor there. Intregrity it was. Well, that and my all consuming desire to “kick it to death” of course.
You’d think that with a budget of $80 million such terrible fare would find it hard to turn a profit but do you know what? If you’re thinking like that you need to stop thinking, because with box-office receipts now totalling well over $100 million it seems thinking is swiftly going out of fashion.
The Film About A Man On A Ledge – Man on a Ledge
Yes this week’s best candidate for threatened suicide jump thriller is Man on a Ledge. Even so it hasn’t gone down all that well taking only £697,394 over the weekend past from a sizeable 389 sites. Also it’s not that much about a man standing on a ledge at all. I heard something about a diamond. And thieves. Diamond thieves. And money. Insurance money. And intrigue. Meh. Not so much intrigue. It’s not going down a storm in the US either.
The Muppets are back and according to critical opinion they’re apparently on top form once more. The studios have clearly gone about promoting the film with a money hammer what with all of the saturation advertising that’s being going on. I can’t remember the last time I went to he cinema without seeing Miss Piggy in a leotard. At least it’s not that bloody video call advert for Rio that Orange assaulted millions with over the summer. Good God that was bad.
The Woman in Black will also be arriving with much hype, most of which for me consists in the definitive ‘Daniel Radcliffe cannot act’ statement that it will surely constitute. Why? Because he can’t act. Fact. And he’s creepy in interviews.
Other than that we’ve got George Lucas milking the Star Wars franchise to the point of parody, Channing (the jaw clench) Tatum and Rachel (my cameo in Sherlock 2 was completely without narrative merit) McAdams facing off in the most immediate sense in romantic romance heavy romance-fest The Vow and last but not least David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method in which Michael Fassbender will get a bit kinky again and occasionally find the time to do a bit of psychoanalysis in between. Oh and there’s a film about a whale that isn’t Free Willy.
However with the box office running extremely low takings recently it’s hard to hold out for any opulent displays of box office intake any time soon. The top 5 films this time last year grossed over £10 million over the weekend. This week they struggled to reach £6 million. Maybe next week can turn things around.
UK Top 10 Films:
- Chronicle, £2,193,072 from 397 sites (New Entry)
- Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, £1,200,587 from 431 sites (New Entry)
- The Descendants,£1,112,964 from 407 sites. Total: £4,169,946
- War Horse, £889,687 from 492 sites. Total: £15,333,104
- Jack and Jill, £848,814 from 324 sites (New Entry)
- Man on a Ledge, £697,394 from 389 sites (New Entry)
- The Grey, £521,188 from 348 sites. Total: £2,209,907
- A Monster in Paris, £474,941 from 440 sites. Total: £1,666,446
- The Artist, £374,889 from 195 sites. Total: £5,314,327
- Carnage, £298,733 from 112 sites (New Entry)
Other New Releases
- Young Adult, 157 sites, £137,284
- Martha Marcy May Marlene, 100 sites, £106,967
- Bombay Beach, 2 sites, £2,361 (+ £3,160 previews)
- Best Laid Plans, 6 sites, £362
Top Film This Time Last Year: Tangled