The first big screen outing for Alan Partridge tops chart with $3.37m (£2.18m), including previews, through StudioCanal; Sony’s Grown Ups 2 leads Fri-Sun weekend; Universal’s Despicable Me 2 becomes 2013’s highest grosser.
In one of the tightest races for the top spot at the UK box office in years, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa has edged out Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Grown Ups 2 to lead the UK box office on its debut.
The first big screen outing for Steve Coogan’s iconic character recorded a $3.37m (£2.18m) on its UK bow to secure top spot, including $1.2m (£741,254) in previews.
The result marks StudioCanal’s biggest opening to date in 2013. It’s worth noting however that I Give It A Year remains the distributor’s biggest three-day weekend of 2013 at $2.4m (£1.5m).
For the second week in a row, the UK’s top seven all recorded grosses of over £1m.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters got off to a solid start in the UK despite being pipped to the number one spot by Alpha Papa.
Thanks to its preview boost of $1.3m (£860,773), Fox’s sequel recorded a debut of $3.31m (£2.14m) from its 397 sites.
That result is an improvement on Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief’s $2.3m (£1.5m) UK bow from 454 sites, but it’s worth noting that tally was achieved without previews. The film went on to make $11.5m (£7.4m), a total well within reach of the sequel if it holds well this week.
Also for Fox, The Heat added $1.47m (£952,101) in its second weekend for $7.6m (£4.9m) to date, while The Wolverine has sliced its way to $18.5m (£12m) after a $1.45m (£933,757) third weekend.
Based purely on Fri-Sun results, Grown Ups 2 would have secured top spot with a $2.6m (£1.7m) result from its 358 screens at a strong average of $7,181 (£4,641), the best of the Fri-Sun top ten.
Including its Irish previews, Sony’s comedy sequel recorded a $3.21m (£2.07m) debut to chart third overall behind Alpha Papa and Percy Jackson.
That result is up on its predecessor’s $3.1m (£2m) UK bow, including $817,000 (£527,590) in previews, and as a result is Adam Sandler’s best-ever UK opening as well.
Last week’s overall number one The Smurfs 2 fell to seventh after grossing $1.7m (£1.1m) in its second weekend through Sony.
The sequel is up to $9.9m (£6.4m) to date in the UK, still some way short of The Smurfs’ $26.7m (£17.25m) UK haul.
Last week’s Fri-Sun champion The Conjuring held firm in its second weekend to scare up an additional $2.5m (£1.6m).
James Wan’s horror is now up to $9m (£5.85m) after ten days in play and has a great chance of overtaking Insidious’ $11m (£7.1m) result to become Wan’s highest UK grosser.
While the official chart will have The Conjuring in fourth, its Fri-Sun performance would have seen it second discounting previews for this week’s openers.
Also for Warner Bros, Pacific Rim is up to $12.7m (£8.2m).
As with last week, the crowded marketplace was bound to see one victim and this week it was the turn of The Lone Ranger.
Disney’s reinvention of the classic character managed just $2.1m (£1.3m) on debut, including previews, from its 519 sites to round off this week’s top five.
That result is down on both director Gore Verbinski’s previous film Rango ($2.5m/£1.6m from 470) and the first Pirates of the Caribbean outing, which took $5.8m (£3.8m) from 452 including $857,000 (£553,344) in previews.
Also for Disney, Monsters University added $1.9m (£1.2m) in its fifth weekend to climb to $37.1m (£24m).
Having overtaken Brave ($34.1m/£22.16m), Toy Story ($34.6m/£22.5m) and Wall-E ($35.2m/£22.9m), next in its sights on the Pixar ladder will be Ratatouille’s $38.4m (£24.8m) UK result.
As expected, Despicable Me 2 has now become 2013’s highest grosser to date overtaking stablemate Les Misérables’ $62.2m (£40.5m).
Universal’s animated sequel is up to a sterling $63.2m (£40.81m) after adding $1.4m (£917,000) in its seventh weekend.
Now it’s just a case of how far it can go on the all-time animation chart where the next target is Toy Story 2’s $69.6m (£45.3m) to become the UK’s third highest grossing animation.
Also for Universal, The World’s End has crossed the £8m mark.
After opening softly last week, eOne’s Red 2 was always likely to struggle in its second weekend and so it proved, dropping over 50% and adding $640,000 (£413,532) for $3.6m (£2.3m) to date.
Undoubtedly one of the hits of the summer, Now You See Me is up to $16.7m (£10.8m) following a $259,000 (£167,323) weekend through eOne.
Only God Forgives is up to $1.5m (£971,710) in the UK after a $267,000 (£172,449) weekend from its 157 sites through Lionsgate.
From a limited release of nine sites, Arrow’s Looking for Hortense recorded a $16,000 (£10,063) debut.
This week sees saturation releases for Universal’s Kick Ass 2 (opens Aug 14) and eOne’s 2 Guns.
Disney’s Planes receives a wide release, while Curzon Film World’s Call Girl and StudioCanal’s Aftershock are among the films receiving a limited release.