The U.K. box office came back to life — very, very quietly — this weekend following more than three months of closure, with Disney’s Onward claiming the first post-lockdown crown.
That said, with so few cinemas having reopened since the government’s lifting of an operating ban on cinemas on Saturday, the numbers were understandably very low.
Onward took in the most, earning £21,626 ($27,000) from just 47 locations for an average of $576, bringing its total (it was first released March 6) to $6.6 million.
Only around 50 cinemas are understood to have reopened, with Odeon the only one of the biggest chains involved (it reopened three sites). Cineworld and Vue have both pushed their reopening dates to the end of the month, citing delays to major blockbuster releases, including Tenet and Mulan.
Further down, Trolls World Tour — which sparked a major controversy among exhibitors when Universal broke the traditional theatrical window by releasing it digitally mid-lockdown — edged out Bad Boys for Life, taking $21,000. However, Bad Boys for Life earned its $20,000 from just 18 sites (Trolls World Tour showed in 33).
Disney’s The Greatest Showman — first released in 2017 — gave an indication of how important catalog films may be for cinemas in the coming weeks until studios begin releasing their new titles. It took home $18,000.
Another older film — Sam Mendes’ 1917, released in December — rounded out the top five in Britain with just shy of $16,000.
The bottom five of the top 10 ranking were entirely made up of catalog titles, including Dirty Dancing, Grease, The Terminator, Star Wars: A New Hope and Fight Club.