Source: Universal

‘The Bikeriders’

Jeff Nichols’ crime drama The Bikeriders drives into 702 cinemas at this weekend’s UK-Ireland box office, through Universal.

The sixth feature from US filmmaker Nichols follows the members of the Vandals motorcycle club as it transforms into a dangerous underworld of violence. 2015 Screen Star of Tomorrow Jodie Comer leads the cast alongside Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon and Mike Faist.

The Bikeriders  debuted at Telluride in August last year, going on to play BFI London Film Festival and Sydney among others.

Nichols’ highest-grossing feature was his one-before-last, 2016’s Midnight Special, which opened to £466,055 at a £1,165 average and finished on almost £1.2m. Two other features landed in a similar range: 2017 romantic drama Loving, which started with £234,213 on its way to £950,068 in 2017; and Mud starring Matthew McConaughey, which started with £239,037 and finished on £859,557 in 2013.

Universal will hope The Bikeriders will set a new high watermark for Nichols, buoyed by its popular cast. Comer has proved a box office draw in recent years, especially with National Theatre Live’s event cinema release Prima Facie – the highest-grossing event cinema release ever at the time with £5.5m in 2022. Butler starred in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, which took £27.8m in 2022; while Hardy has a number of box office hits under his belt including 2017’s Dunkirk  (£56.8m), 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises  (£56.4m) and 2010’s Inception  (£35.8m), all for Christopher Nolan.

Studiocanal is starting Haley Easton Street’s aquatic thriller Something In The Water in 410 locations, in which a group of five friends must fight for their lives in open water after a dream wedding turns into a nightmare.

The cast includes Hiftu Quasem, who led Amazon Prime UK’s Call My Agent! remake Ten Percent, and was named a Screen Rising Star Scotland in 2022.

The film is a debut feature for Street, who has worked extensively as an art director for blockbusters including Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Justice League, and did visual effects for Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.

Strike while the iron is hot 

Fresh from winning the audience award at Sheffield DocFest last weekend, Tull Stories is starting Daniel Gordon’s Strike: An Uncivil War in 49 sites across its first week. The documentary tells the story of the Battle of Orgreave, a confrontation between workers and officers of South Yorkshire Police during the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike.

Strike - An Uncivil War

Source: John Harris_reportdigital.co.uk

‘Strike - An Uncivil War’

British director Gordon has previously made non-fiction titles including Don’t Look Down about billionaire Richard Branson’s attempts to break hot air balloon world records; and Crossing The Line, about a US army defector living in North Korea.

Vertigo Releasing is starting Joshua John Miller’s horror The Exorcism starring Russell Crowe in 332 cinemas. The film follows a troubled actor who begins to exhibit disruptive behaviours while shooting a horror film. It is a second religious horror in the past 18 months for Crowe, after last year’s The Pope’s Exorcist (opened: £706,517; closed: £2.6m). 

Modern Films is starting Agnieszka Holland’s refugee drama Green Border in 75 sites, including Picturehouse, Curzon and Vue venues. A Competition title at Venice 2023, it won the special jury prize, as well as at least six non-official awards at the festival including the Sorriso Diverso Venezia award for best film in a foreign language.

Karl R. Hearne’s crime thriller The G starring Winter’s Bone  actress Dale Dickey opens on 37 screens through Lightbulb Film Distribution. The film, about an older woman seeking revenge on the legal guardian who destroyed her life, debuted at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia last year, before a UK premiere at Glasgow.

Miracle63 has Spanish-produced animation Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow.

CinemaLive is conducting a 280-site event cinema release today (Friday 21) for the final two episodes of the current season of UK TV favourite Doctor Who; while back catalogue releases include Ari Aster’s Hereditary (£5.7m in 2018) and Midsommar (£2.8m in 2019) through Entertainment Film Distributors.

Releases not in the English language this weekend include Indian romantic comedy Ishq Vishk Rebound through Bakrania Media.

Inside Out 2 will dominate cinemas again after a strong opening weekend; Disney will be looking for a decent hold that can propel the title towards a record total for 2024. Other holdovers include Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride Or Die entering its third weekend; and Paramount’s IF entering its sixth.