Toy Story 3 became the second film this year to spend four weeks in first place at the UK box office, and only the third film since November 2008 to achieve four consecutive weeks at number one.
The Disney/Pixar comedy took $5m (£3.2m) from 559 screens at an average of $8,704 (£5,559) over the August 13 - 15 weekend, and has now grossed a magisterial $92.2m (£58.9m). A further $3.1m (£2m) and the family-comedy will overtake The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King as the sixth most successful film of all time at the UK box office.
As previously reported, the holiday month of August has been a surprisingly weak entry point for films in the UK. Only one of the UK’s top 30 performing films was released in the month of August and no August weekend featured in 2009’s top 15 box-office weekends.
This trend will in part account for the slighlty disappointing show from two top 5 debuts. Paramount’s action-adventure The Last Airbender entered the chart in third position, managing $2.7m (£1.7m) from 450 screens, while Disney’s family-fantasy The Sorcerer’s Apprentice opened fifth, making $1.7m (£1.1m) from 406 screens. With hotter competition above and more explosive draws to come, both look set to fizzle out before posting significant returns.
Disney’s animated Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue, which took $451,708 (£288,544) from 236 screens, is primarily aimed at the DVD market but crept into tenth spot on the chart.
Argentine Foreign Language Oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes grossed $133,795 (£85,467) for Metrodome in its first week, while the re-release of Bob Raffelson’s 1970 drama Five Easy Pieces made a defiant top 20 appearance, taking £10,970 from 8 screens for Park Circus Films.
Despite the poor weather the third weekend in August saw the lowest screen averages since the box office disaster of June. For the first time in six weeks the top 5 films couldn’t muster $15.7m (£10m) and not one film playing in the UK managed a screen average over $9,400 (£6,000). Only two films made it above $6,300 (£4,000).
Exhibitors will be hoping for a stronger showing from this weekend’s new releases, which include Lionsgate’s high-octane action-drama The Expendables, Sony’s CIA thriller Salt, starring Angelina Jolie, Sylvain Chomet’s animated adaptation of Jacques Tati’s script The Illusionist, and Entertainment’s thriller Piranha.