Although still led by seasonal behemoths Pearl Harbor and The Mummy Returns the UK box office is coming under attack from strong releases from independent distributors such as Momentum's Get Over It. Taking advantage of audiences looking for an alternative to the summer blockbusters, both major and independent distributors are putting out a swath of titles. Last week's releases included Get Over It, UIP's Chris Rock starrer Down To Earth, Artificial Eye's Merci Pour Le Chocolat (Nightcap) and Columbia TriStar's The Crimson Rivers.
This week also saw an influx of new fare with five new entries to the top 15. However none of these has matched the surprising success of Momentum's Get Over It, a teen comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster and Colin 'Son of Tom' Hanks. Despite taking a poor domestic gross of just $11.6m, the amiable comedy has triumphed in the UK taking a solid $2.7m (£1.9m) in its first ten days on release. The film retained its third place for the second week running and dropped just 22% from its opening weekend. This is currently way ahead of The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle, which had taken $1.9m (£1.3m) after ten days on release in February this year and went on to become Momentum's most successful release of all time.
Another independent, this time an opener, also put the big leaguers to shame this week. While its actual three-day takings were beaten by fellow openers Dracula 2001 (BVI) at 6, Say It Isn't So (20th Century Fox) at 8 and Autumn In New York (Columbia TriStar) at 12, new Indian film Lagaan showed the strongest site average by far taking position 13 with a phenomenal $128,024 (£91,281) from only four sites for an average of $32,006. In comparison Dracula 2001's site average was a paltry $1,778 and Pearl Harbor's was $4,666.
Another opener performing with gusto, and leading to a question over what 20th Century Fox should concentrate their marketing power on was Before Night Falls. The film, starring best actor Oscar nominee Javier Bardem, took $116,000 (£83,136) and 14th place from just 14 sites. The film's $8,329 site average easily outperformed its fellow Fox opener Say It Isn't So. The heavily marketed but critically mauled gross-out comedy, which stars Heather Graham and Chris Klein - who will appear later in the year in Columbia's Rollerball remake, took a dismal $1,131 per site.