The low-budget UK production set to score big opening weekend after excellent first preview day.

UK production The Inbetweeners Movie took £2.584m from 409 sites on Wednesday (Aug 17), its first preview day, for Entertainment Film Distributors.

To put the number in perspective, The Inbetweeners Movie has taken more in one day of previews than last year’s biggest UK production, StreetDance 3D, took on its first weekend and previews combined.

Toy Story 3 scored one of the UK’s biggest ever preview figures of £9.69m from four days in July 2010. That equates to an average of £2.4m per day, once again less than the one day total taken by The Inbetweeners Movie. UK hit The King’s Speech took £227,000 from its previews in January.

The Wednesday launch also benefitted from the UK’s Orange Wednesdays, a two-for-one tickets scheme offered by the mobile phone company. Reports indicate that more than 500,000 people went to see the film, excluding the plus ones from the Orange Wednesday scheme.

Producer Chris Young said: “We are all delighted by the response to Jay, Neil, Simon and Will’s summer holiday. We’ve been so excited for people to see the boys on the big screen and we are thrilled that the UK feels the same!”

Film 4 head Tessa Ross added: “We’re incredibly proud of the team behind the film and really thrilled with the phenomenal results so far. How wonderful that a loved Channel 4 comedy show should become a celebrated film.”

Mark Batey, Chief Executive of the Film Distributors’ Association, commented on the impressive one day result: “You’ve got a hot property here. But the way it has been crafted for a teenage, cinema audience in 2011 has been really smart. The way it is paying off at such a competetive time is thrilling. It wouldn’t surpirse me if exhibitors increase its screen numbers this weekend. This is an absolute bullseye score for the UK cinema audience around the country, that 15 to 24 demographic is key. Their main competition might actually come from the new series of The X-Factor this weekend.”

Based on the hit Channel 4/E4 TV comedy about four hapless teenage boys, the £3.5m-budgeted feature sees the series’ protagonists head to a Greek resort for a lads holiday. Most of the main cast and crew have been retained from the TV series, with director Ben Palmer, writers Damon Beesley and Ian Morris, producer Christopher Young and the cast of Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas all on board.  

Production companies are Film4 (which also financed) and Young Bwark.

The TV show of The Inbetweeners has sold to 20 international territories, and IM Global is handling international sales on the film, with deals already closed for territories including Germany (Square One), France (French Connection), Australia (Village Roadshow), Canada (Maple), Italy (Eagle Pictures), Spain (Aurum) and Scandinavia (Nordisk).