March wasn’t slayed by warriors, car racers or hotel desk clerks; instead, victory goes to several big players.
Of the films released in March, it seems that 300: Rise of an Empire came out on top with an overall box office taking of £7.4 million over four weeks. That’s impressive considering this sequel lost the franchise’s lead actor, Gerard Butler, but the originals cult status and 7th Worldwide Box Office placing in 2007 has secured its continuing success.
A disappointing result came for Need For Speed, a car racing film based on the hit game franchise of the same name – the film took only £4.4 million despite bagging rising star, Aaron Paul, hot off the finale of Breaking Bad. Despite a disappointing start to the race, the film is still ranked as the fifth most successful video game adapted film release (Silent Hill is number one) and it could still move up those rankings. I watched the film in cinemas and really enjoyed it; it had more touching moments, and laugh out loud scenes than a film of its type normally deserves, and of course the action was great, so we’re a little disappointed that this may fall short of getting a sequel. This may not be another franchise like The Fast and the Furious.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s next niche comedy after such films as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Rushmore and its done surprisingly well taking almost £8 million over five weeks. That’s actually Wes Anderson’s most profitable film to date worldwide, finally beating his 2001 hit The Royal Tenenbaums by a small margin that will no doubt grow. Anderson’s films have become much more mainstream in recent years with his previous two films, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, set in third and fourth on his biggest box office triumphs. Let’s hope that his unique and quirky style doesn’t change to cater for this flourishing audience.
Non-Stop has also just entered its fifth week and has so far taken almost £8 million. Liam Neeson has brought back interest in his dangerous action characters, started 7 years ago with Taken, making this the third best performing film of this type for him, after Taken and Taken 2. Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Grey and particularly Unknown fall short of this mark considerably.
However there were a few films that went unnoticed this month. Escape From Planet Earth was a surprise flop; we thought it would fill a market for kids, but it dropped out of the UK top ten after 2 weeks and didn’t even make £1 million. Labor Day, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, also disappeared after its first week making less than £300k. That could be due to audiences’ exhaustion from serious hard hitting drama after this year’s flurry of Oscar contenders in January and February.
British movies included A Long Way Down and Starred Up but neither made a decent impression and are both set to leave the UK top ten in their third week after making around £1 million each. Usually UK audiences get behind homegrown productions, but with such a strong line up of options and rather obscure story choices (prison and suicide friends) these struggled to find a footing.
One big success story however is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which stormed the box office at the end of March taking an incredible £6 million in its first week alone. We think that’s weekly taking will drop down quickly, but it’s certainly kick started April’s competition off with a bang.
Why do you think Non-Stop brought in audiences when other Neeson vehicles didn’t? Did you see any of the films above and would you rate them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments belowClick here to view the latest Box Office Table