Alan Partridge’s first big screen outing records $1.2m (£741,254) from its 402 sites over two days of previews through StudioCanal.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is off to a strong start in the UK through StudioCanal.

Over its two days of previews, the first big screen outing for Steve Coogan’s iconic character has taken $1.2m (£742,566) from its 402 sites. The comedy took $703,000 (£452,649) on Wednesday, and added $448,000 (£289,917) yesterday [Aug 8].

“It’s a very strong start and one we’re very pleased with that bodes well for the weekend, which is all important as well,” commented John Trafford-Owen, head of UK theatrical distribution at StudioCanal.

“These first two days have shown we can open strongly [at the weekend] and we also hope and expect good weekday business as well, which will set us up nicely for the run of the film.”

Alpha Papa is certain to record the distributor’s best opening in 2013, currently the $2.4m (£1.5m) taken by I Give It A Year in February.

“The preview results have shown that the top sites for the film are spread around the country, which is a very positive sign that we are reaching outside the core fanbase with the film,” added Trafford-Owen.

“It’s naturally not that surprising to see it a strong start in London and the West End, but it’s very pleasing that other key cities, [such as] Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield, have all done very well with the film.”