Tom Cruise Still Flying High at UK Box Office

London — Tom Cruise is at the top of the UK box

office for the second week running with American Made. The Doug

Liman-directed film declined a slim 9% and held the chart summit with

a gross of Pound 968,000. There the good news ends, because the film’s

success says more about the uncompetitive nature of the market than

it does about American Made’s popularity.

This is the first time since June 2012 that a film has topped the

official UK chart with less than Pound 1m. On that occasion, Ice Age:

Continental Drift did so from its release in Scotland and Ireland with a

gross of just Pound 853,000. (In fact, the Ice Age movie played previews that

weekend in England and Wales, which were added in later, so the poor

chart-topping tally was due to the industry’s eccentric box office

measuring system.) Prior to that example, the last time a UK weekend

chart was topped by a film grossing less than Pound 1m was in October

2010: Will Ferrell’s The Other Guys took the No 1 spot on its third week

of release, with Pound 976,000, resisting the challenge of new titles Buried

and Made in Dagenham.

Commercially successful British indie films are rare, so when one

comes along it commands attention. God’s Own Country is by first-time

feature director (and former actor) Francis Lee, features the relatively

unknown actors Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu in its lead roles

and is a low-budget drama set on a Yorkshire farm. Box office success

was far from a given.

The film opened with a very encouraging Pound 136,000 from 45

cinemas, yielding a site average of Pound 3,022. That is the third-best

average for any film on release, behind new Bollywood movie Punjab

Nahi Jaungi (Bollywood titles invariably open with high screen

averages) and a single-screen outing for Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967

crime thriller Le Samourai. Previews increase God’s Own Country tally

to Pound 168,000.

Lee’s film follows the notable success earlier this year of British

indie Lady Macbeth, which began with Pound 153,000 from a much wider

104 sites, and Pound 175,000 including previews. Lady Macbeth, by debut

director William Oldroyd, went on to bring in more than Pound 800,000, the

Guardian reported.

Source: Oman News Agency

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