Charlotte Gray's status as FilmFour's biggest production to date failed to translate into UK box-office gold this weekend. But FilmFour calculates that the WW2 drama, based on the novel by Sebastian Faulks, will still have a profitable UK release across all windows after taking $644,104 (£450,229) from 217 sites.
Along with suffering from largely negative reviews and a lack of nominations in the current awards season, the picture appears to have been hurt by the continued vigour of fellow period piece Gosford Park. The Robert Altman picture, which won BAFTA's Alexander Korda award for outstanding British film of the year on Sunday, recorded a further $1.0m (£703,649) from 202 sites over its fourth weekend on release - bringing its total gross to $7.7m (£5.4m). Holding fourth position Gosford Park scored a site average of $4,983 compared with seventh placed Charlotte Gray's average of $2,968.
In London, A Beautiful Mind platformed at 24 sites and grossed $267,328 (£186,862) over the three days. The Oscar-hopeful, which picked up BAFTA awards for stars Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly at the weekend, saw an impressive site average of $11,139, which bodes well for its nationwide release on Friday. However Peter Buckingham, FilmFour's deputy chief executive, believes this was not a particular hurdle for Charlotte Gray, "The West End is not the be all and end all, especially with a film that plays to an older audience like this," he said.
Buckingham estimates that film will be worth around£2m in the UK from theatrical, video and TV, covering FilmFour's relatively modest p&a spend of£1m - it spent nearly twice the amount on the disastrous UK release of Lucky Break last year. "It's an okay figure," he said of Charlotte Gray's opening
Further covering FilmFour, the Cate Blanchett film was already in profit from international sales even before it was released. Warner Bros has North American rights, while Universal Pictures closed a major multi-territory deal for France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Elsewhere in the chart Don't Say A Word was the highest new opener landing in sixth place with $855,359 (£597,896). The Michael Douglas thriller played at 273 sites for a weekend average of $3,133.
Buoyed by awards recognition for its stars Will Smith and Jon Voight, the wide opening of Michael Mann's Ali this week managed a strong three-day gross of $1.9m (£1.3m) from 330 sites. With an average of $5,705 the Muhammad Ali biopic gained third position and gave distributor Entertainment its third top five film of the week, with Gosford Park and fifth placed The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.
First and second positions remained the property of BVI's Monsters, Inc. ($6.1m) and Warner Bros' Ocean's Eleven ($5.2m).
Scoring an impressive opening, yet still unable to make the chart, the latest Bollywood release Tumko Na Bhool Paayende grossed $108,601 (£75,912) from just 19 sites. With a strong site average of $5,716 the film took sixteenth position behind another Indian title, Haan Maine Bhi Pyar Kiya, which managed three-day takings of $112,316 (£78,509) from 27 sites in its third week. Both films are released by Shree Krishna Film. Another Bollywood production continuing to play well is FilmFour/Eros International's release of Monsoon Wedding. After eight weeks on release its total gross stands at $2.4m (£1.7m) and looks likely to pass 1998's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai ($2.5m) to become the second highest grossing Bollywood title in the UK - after K3G's $3.5m.