barbie 2

Source: Warner Bros


UK and Ireland’s box office has enjoyed an impressive August, with total takings at £104.9m , an  increase of 67% on the same month in 2022.

Year-to-date, 2023 is running 10% ahead of the same period in 2022. A big difference can be felt compared to the start of July, when the box office was down 9%.

The year-to-date total is £751.5m (after 34 weeks). At same stage of pre-pandemic 2019, after 34 weeks, the UK-Ireland box office was at £880.4m – that is 15% down on the most recent pre-pandemic year.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie for Warner Bros remained number one for the second month, taking £31.3m, topping the chart every weekend in August and bringing its total to £90.9m. It is now the seventh-biggest film of all time, 2% above Avengers: Endgame (£88.7m) and 3% behind Avatar (£94m).

The feature starring Margot Robbie has overtaken Mamma Mia! (£68.9m) to become the best performing comedy title ever in the territory.

In Ireland, the film has now replaced Titanic (€9.2m) to be the country’s top-grossing film with €9.4m, and this is also the case for the island of Ireland (including Northern Ireland), overtaking Avatar (€12.1m) with €12.2m.

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer remains in second place,  taking an additional £20.7m for Universal. The film now has a total of £54.4m. Nolan’s drama, starring Cillian Murphy, is also the third-highest grossing film of 2023 so far, 48% above Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (£36.7m) and just behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie (£54.7m).

The two films - Barbenheimer -  have a combined market share of 65% of the total box office since both released on July 21.

Ben Wheatley’s sci-fi action sequel The Meg 2 is the highest new opener this month in third place at the box office, with a gross of £11.9m. The Warner Bros action sequel is 25% behind the lifetime of The Meg (£15.8m), which was released in August 2018. 

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 from August is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in fourth place (£8.5m); Elemental in fifth (£4.1m); Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One in sixth (£4.1m); Haunted Mansion in seventh (£3.5m); Blue Beetle in eighth (£3.4m); Gran Turismo: Based On A True Story in ninth (£2.5m); and Strays in 10th place (£1.5m).

Upcoming releases in September include Celine Song’s Past Lives on September 7 for Studiocanal; My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 on September 8 for Universal; and Ken Loach’s The Old Oak for Studiocanal on September 29. September also sees the return of National Cinema Day, on September 2, with 630 venues offering £3 tickets. Last year’s National Cinema Day prompted a spike in admissions, with over 1.46 million cinema admissions, which translated to £4.38m in box office revenue. This is around three times the number of admissions normally seen for the same day in recent pre-Covid years.