Scream VI

Source: Paramount Pictures

‘Scream VI’

This weekend’s widest opener at the UK-Ireland box office is Scream VI, the latest offering from the iconic horror franchise, hitting 624 locations for Paramount.

It is slightly up on locations to Scream – the fifth film in the slasher series – which opened to an impressive £2.5m from 622 sites in January 2022, at an average of £3,955, making it the highest-performing horror title since the pandemic at the UK-Ireland box office.

Recent horrors to do well in the territory includes Universal’s M3GAN, the second best-performer for the genre since the pandemic, taking £2.4m from 556 locations for a superb average of £4,192.

Smile, Scream’s Paramount stablemate, opened with £1.5m in its first session at the start of October 2022 for a £2,834 average and became the first 18-rated film to top the weekend UK-Ireland box office for over three years after its second session. Neither M3GAN nor Smile had the muscle of such an established franchise as Scream to draw in audiences, so the pressure for the sixth outing to perform strongly is on. This time, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega go up against New York Ghostface, with a cast featuring veterans Courteney Cox and Hayden Panettiere. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct. 

It’s up against Sony’s sci-fi action thriller, 65 – out at 585 sites, which is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Adam Driver plays a pilot who crashes on an unknown planet, that turns out to be Earth – but not as he knows it.

Universal’s underdog sports comedy Champions has a 457-strong release. Woody Harrelson stars as the coach of a disabled basketball team, with Bobby Farrelly directing, and a cast of actors with intellectual disabilities.

Signature has two Toronto premieres out in cinemas this weekend. My Sailor, My Love is running in 144 sites. It is Finnish director Klaus Härö’s English-language debut, and stars James Cosmo in the story of a retired naval officer who falls for his home help. Signature also has Charcoal at five sites, the feature debut of Brazilian writer-director Carolina Markowicz. A family in São Paulo’s countryside accept a mysterious guest into their home, only to discover he’s a wanted Argentine drug lord. Sovereign is also putting out a Toronto premiere, Bent Hamer’s The Middle Man, which played at the 2021 festival. 

Dogwoof is putting out Sundance 2022 premiere Meet Me In The Bathroom from Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern in 34 locations. It’s set against the backdrop of 9/11, taking an immersive archival journey through the explosive New York music scene of the early 2000s, an era billed as ‘the last great romantic age of rock ‘n’ roll’, featuring the music of The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Seventh Art has Mary Cassatt: Painting The Modern Day Woman from filmmaker Ali Ray playing at 33 cinemas, that examines the life and work of American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.  

Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom earned Bhutan its first ever Oscar nomination, back in 2022. Peccadillo Pictures is releasing at 24 sites. Pawo Choyning Dorji’s debut follows a discontented teacher assigned to the most remote school in Bhutan.

Altitude has the low-budget slasher riff on AA Milne’s beloved bear Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey at 18 sites, including Glasgow’s FrightFest showing tonight (March 10). 

The Wife And Her House Husband will be playing at just one site, London’s Prince Charles Cinema, for Miracle Communications. Marcus Markou’s divorce drama stars Laura Bayston and Laurence Spellman as a couple whose relationship is breaking down in their 40s.

Key holdovers include Creed III (Warner Bros), Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania  (Disney), Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (Universal), Cocaine Bear (Universal) and What’s Love Got To Do With It? (Studiocanal).