The first warmweekend of weather this year in the UK resulted in a soft weekend at the boxoffice. Many titles saw massive drop offs and, despite the launch of four widereleases, box office for the weekend only managed a 4% week-on-weekimprovement.
Both 20th Century Fox and Sony can lay claim to the lead over the three-dayweekend. Fox's Robots ranks top of the chart thanks to nationwidepreviews the previous weekend and a full week of previews (original scheduledas a platform release) at the Vue West End. These added $2.05m (£1.07m) intothe film's opening weekend for a chart topping $5m (£2.6m).
However, withoutthe previews Robots would have finished some $1.3m (£691,188) behindSony's Hitch over the actual three day weekend.
Robots three-day weekendactual figures of $2.97m (£1.55m) from 474 were not as strong as Blue Sky (theproduction company behind the film) and director Chris Wedge's last effort IceAge which took $3.6m (£1.9m) from 423 sites over its opening weekend (March22-24, 2002), excluding previews. It was also far behind last year's CGI cropwhich included BVI's The Incredibles with $11.99m (£6.26m) from 494sites, and UIP's Shrek 2 with $20.3m (£10.6m) from 512 sites and SharkTale with $9.6m (£5.03m) from 504 sites. (All these figures are openingweekends excluding previews. The Incredibles figures are for its wideopening after a week on platform release in London's West End).
With school Easterholidays about to kick off Robots should pick up especially if theweather is unable to consistently match that of last weekend, however, heavycompetition will come next weekend in the pigeon-shaped form of EntertainmentFilm Distributors' Valiant. The British-made CGI launches atapproximately 400 sites and could be this year's Chicken Run. Interestinglyit shares its lead voice-actor, Ewan McGregor, with Robots.
Warner Bros' Constantinealso debuted this week with figures including previews of $1.2m (£619,799) from311 sites that do not affect the supernatural action-horror's ranking.
Elsewhere on the chart UGC Films released Francois Ozon's relationshipdrama 5x2 as its first title of the year and saw resounding success fromjust 16 sites.