Edgar Wright’s London-set psychological horror Last Night In Soho leads the openers at this weekend’s UK-Ireland box office, broaching new ground for the director as his first 18-rated title.
Released by Universal, the film is playing in 519 locations – the third-widest opener of Wright’s career, after Baby Driver with 544 and The World’s End with 531.
Wright’s highest-grossing opening weekend is still Hot Fuzz, which took £4.4m from 427 sites – an outstanding figure for a 2007 release.
That title is also his highest-grossing total, with £21.2m; other highlights include Baby Driver (£13.1m), The World’s End (£8.7m) and Shaun Of The Dead (£6.7m).
All seven of Wright’s previous features have been rated 15 by the British Board of Film Classification, except for 2010’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which was a 12A.
The highest-grossing 18-rated title in the territory remains 2015’s Fifty Shades Of Grey with £35.1m, followed by the sequel Fifty Shades Darker with £23.2m, and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street with £22.7m.
Only six 18-rated titles have broken the £20m barrier in the history of the UK-Ireland box office. However, with the director’s enduring popularity with audiences in his home territory, plus a cast of star names led by Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie, Universal will be hoping for an eight-figure final result.
Last Night In Soho follows an aspiring fashion designer, who is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s. Her encounters with a wannabe singer in that time reveal cracks within the glamour of the past, and a darker world beneath.
It premiered out of competition at Venice Film Festival in September 2021; the film had originally been scheduled for a September 2020 release before it was delayed multiple times due to the pandemic.
The second weekend of Warner Bros’ Dune and the fifth of Universal’s No Time To Die go head to head for the number one spot this weekend. Dune took the honours on its debut, with its £4.8m pipping No Time To Die’s £4.6m.
However, No Time To Die has out-grossed Dune every day from Monday to Thursday, and has just overtaken Titanic to become the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the territory with £82.4m.
Other openers this weekend include horror Antlers through Disney in 340 locations – the latest Searchlight Pictures title the studio acquired when it bought Fox in 2019.
Starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons, the film follows a middle-school teacher and her sheriff brother who become embroiled with her enigmatic student, whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters with a legendary ancestral creature who came before them.
Director Scott Cooper’s previous titles include Crazy Heart, for which Jeff Bridges won the best actor Oscar in 2010. The film opened to £102,917 in the UK and Ireland, ending on £1.2m.
Cooper has also directed Out Of The Furnace (opened: £191,011, closed: £341,532), Black Mass (£1.3m, £3.3m) and Hostiles (£384,815, £915,072).
Dogwoof is handling a 17-site release for The Rescue, the latest documentary from Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. The husband-wife duo have previously directed films including Meru and Free Solo, with the latter winning the Oscar for best documentary in 2020. The Rescue chronicles the 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand.
Mubi is releasing Andreas Fontana’s debut Azor in nine sites. The film follows a private banker who goes to Argentina in the midst of a dictatorship to replace his partner, the object of the most worrying rumours, who disappeared overnight.
It debuted at Moscow Film Festival in April 2021, going on to the Encounters section at Berlinale and festivals including Jerusalem, San Sebastian and London.
Blue Dolphin Films and producers Animortal are jointly releasing animation Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires in 50 sites, mainly across the major chains. The film premiered at Annecy Animation Festival in 2018; it is about a renegade cop in Los Angeles, who battles an evil scourge on the city.
Tull Stories is opening The Football Monologues in one location this weekend, with the release building to further venues across November, before a 30-location event screening in mid-November with Odeon. The indie title centres on seven people who tell their life stories in and around the beautiful game.
Sony is distributing anime franchise title My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission in 260 locations. The two previous titles in the series that received UK-Ireland releases grossed £244,678 and £391,983 respectively.
Studio Soho Distribution is releasing Sadie Frost’s documentary Quant, about fashion icon Mary Quant, in 29 locations to begin with this weekend, before expanding with a further 137 next week, and over 200 in total across its run.
Do It Creative is distributing UK horror Barun Rai And The House On The Cliff in 30 locations. Directed by Sam Bhattacharjee, the film is an English- and Hindi-language horror about a newlywed couple who move into a new home which is haunted by paranormal activities.
Netflix, which does not reveal number of locations, is debuting Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut Passing in select cinemas. The film, which stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, debuted at the online Sundance in January 2020, and is looking to kickstart an awards run.
Modern Films has Bill Benz’s The Nowhere Inn, a fiction-documentary hybrid about popstar St . Vincent; while Dartmouth Films has documentary Congo Calling.
Repertory titles this weekend include the 20th anniversary re-release of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone in 426 locations through Warner Bros; Blade in 211 sites through Park Circus; and Seven Samurai in 11 sites through BFI Distribution.