Twentieth Century Fox’s historical comedy The Favourite is set for its first weekend in cinemas, having already set a new UK record for director Yorgos Lanthimos in taking £1.8m since its launch on New Year’s Day (Tuesday Jan 1).
Its early cume, which includes £336,655 from four days of previews prior to Tuesday, outranks Lanthimos’ previous highest amount for 2015’s The Lobster. That film opened to £229,946 (including £9,949 previews) and finished on £1.5m, and went on to secure a best original screenplay nomination at the 2017 Oscars.
The Favourite was also the number two title at UK cinemas on New Year’s Day, taking £572,893 on that single date.
It is one of several awards season contenders hoping to capitalise on Oscar and Bafta buzz. The film stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, with all three picking up several nominations and wins on the circuit already, including best actress for Colman and best supporting actress for Weisz (with Stone nominated) at the 2018 BIFAs.
Lanthimos’ previous film, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, opened to £288,105 with a site average of £2,881 in November 2017, finishing on £857,615.
Another film to hit its first weekend after opening on Jan 1 is Universal’s Welcome To Marwen, which has made £100,000 in its first three days. It stars Steve Carell in the true story of Mark Hogancamp, a veteran with PTSD who creates a fictional village to ease his trauma.
Carell’s recent UK box office run includes Battle Of The Sexes, which opened to £551,449 in 2017 and finished on £1.5m; Café Society, which opened with £494,609 and finished with £1.5m in September 2016; and The Big Short, which started with £1.3m and finished at £6m in January 2016. He also has key roles in upcoming awards contenders Vice – as Donald Rumsfeld – and Beautiful Boy.
Welcome To Marwen is directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, whose highest-grossing title in the UK is still 1994’s Forrest Gump with £16.4m.
Amongst the openers on Friday, Jan 4 are Catherine Corsini’s romance An Impossible Love starring Virginie Efira and Niels Schneider, through Curzon Artificial Eye.
Sky Cinema will distribute Dan Fogelman’s Toronto 2018 title Life Itself in select locations, on the same date that it premieres the film on its TV channel.
Documentary specialist Dogwoof is releasing RBG, Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s profile of the life and career of US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Last month the film was announced as one of 15 titles on the Oscar documentary shortlist.
Talking Drum Entertainment, a UK company that develops and distributes black film and TV content, is releasing political drama King Of Boys from Nigerian director Kemi Adetiba.
Third Window Films will hold a limited release for Shinichiro Ueda’s comedy horror One Cut Of The Dead, which won the best director and audience awards at last year’s genre event Austin Fantastic Fest.
From Polish cinema, Magneto Films is releasing Kinga Debska’s Playing Hard (Zabawa, Zabawa), the story of three women struggling with alcohol addiction.
Holdovers from the Christmas period include Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which has been top for two weeks; Paramount’s Transformers prequel Bumblebee; and Warner Bros’ superhero picture Aquaman.