Babylon, Avatar: The Way Of Water

Source: Paramount Pictures/Disney

‘Babylon’, ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’

RankFilm (distributor)Three-day gross (Jan 20-22)Total gross to date      Week
 1. Avatar: The Way Of Water  (Disney)  £2.8m £67.6m 6
 2. M3GAN (Universal)   £1.4m £4.7m 2
 3. Babylon (Paramount)   £1.32m £1.32m 1
 4. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony)   £766,097 £9.6m 4
 5. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (Sony)  £661,279 £25.8m  9

GBP to USD conversion rate: 1.24

This weekend’s highest-grossing new opener at the UK-Ireland box office is Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, taking £1.32m for Paramount, and landing third in the weekend’s overall chart.

La La Land and Whiplash filmmaker Chazelle depicts the hedonistic days of the pre-sound film industry, kicking off in the late 1920s, with a cast led by Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Diego Calvo.

It is Chazelle’s widest-ever release in the territory, playing at 631 sites to an average of £2,091. His 2017 Oscar winner La La Land played at 606 sites for Lionsgate, bringing in £5.6m in its first weekend.

Robbie and Pitt have previously starred alongside one another in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – another film that takes a look behind-the-screens of the film world, but this time set in the late 1960s. It took £5.1m in its opening weekend in August 2019.

In comparison to Robbie’s more recent big screen outings, Babylon exceeds the first weekend figure for David O Russell’s Amsterdam, that debuted with £631,064 in October 2022, but falls behind The Suicide Squad’s £3.25m July 2021 opener.

The top performer this weekend is Avatar: The Way Of Water, hitting the number one spot at the UK-Ireland box office for the sixth weekend on the trot, taking £2.8m for Disney. Its total is now £67.6m.

Viral sensation and horror film, Gerard Johnstone’s M3GAN, has made £1.4m at the box office in its second weekend – down 43% on its opener – for a total of £4.7m for Universal.

Sony’s performed well in holdovers this weekend: Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody added £766,097 to boost the overall total to £9.6m after four weekends. Its stablemate Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical also continues its impressive run, with £661,279 on its ninth weekend, for an overall figure of £25.8m, alongside A Man Called Otto that has £577,167 on its third weekend, grossing £3.6m.

Sam Mendes’ Empire Of Lights second session brought in £445,000, for an overall figure of £2.8m, released by Disney through its Searchlight Pictures label.

Todd Field’s TÁR starring Cate Blanchett is Universal’s second-best performing title this weekend, bringing in £364,363, a small 8% slide on its opening weekend. Its overall figure is now just over £1m.

Animation Strange World added £88,000 to its haul for Disney on its ninth weekend, for a total of £3.8m. Disney is also continuing to bring in audiences for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on its 11th session, taking £85,000 across the weekend, and £34.2m overall.

Mark Jenkin’s Cornish folk horror Enys Men made £41,935 in its second weekend, for an overall gross of £204,340.

Fresh from its 10 nominations at the Baftas, Disney’s Searchlight Pictures title The Banshees Of Inisherin has added £40,000 to its total, which is at £9.3m after 14 weekends.

Universal’s Till added £36,100 on its third weekend – a 70% drop on its second session. Its overall figure is £752,049.

Sony’s new anime release That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime The Movie: Scarlet Bond brought in £35,321 from 86 sites, for an average per location of £410. With £27,291 in previews, its overall total comes to £62,612.

Disney’s The Menu scooped up £33,000 in its 10th session, now on £4.1m overall. 

Mubi’s Holy Spider – a Cannes premiere about a serial killer in Iran – opened to £24,726 from 38 sites, for an average of £651. With previews, the total figure rises to £60,731. Aftersun – now boasting four Bafta nominations – continues to bring in audiences for Mubi, taking £28,264 on its 10th weekend, for a total of £1.4m.

Trinity Film/Cine Asia released Ying Chi Wen’s Hong Kong feature Everything Under Control at 55 locations, chiming with Chinese New Year celebrations. It took £15,737 in its first weekend, for a site average of £286.

Picturehouse Entertainment’s Corsage added £12,242 on its fourth outing, now up to a £492,579 total, and officially surpassing the £472,904 of 2021’s The Nest to become the distributor’s biggest post-pandemic hit. It’s looking likely to cross the £500,000 mark in the upcoming week.

Lionsgate took £4,479 from 10 locations for Mary Nighy’s Anna Kendrick-headlined Alice, Darling, for a location average of £448.

Also out this weekend – Hide And Seek (Nascondino) played at one site, London’s Bertha DocHouse; Dogwoof’s Dreaming Walls played at seven; Sovereign had The Substitute at five; Modern Films’ More Than Ever at 15; and Parkland Entertainment released The Book Of Vision.