UK box office: Twilight’s takings show kids do stay up after dark

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The Guardian (UK) has posted an article discussing the box office results of “Twilight” in the UK. They said,

Rarely has the opening weekend of a major movie been as hard to predict as that of Twilight. On the one hand, the film has been massive in the US, debuting there last month with $70m (£47m). On the other, Stephenie Meyer’s teen-vampire chicklit novels have not been anything like as big over here – although you wouldn’t have guessed it by the screams for star Robert Pattinson at the London premiere three weeks ago.

When the Friday numbers came in from UK cinemas on Saturday morning, executives at local distributor E1 must have been delighted: £1.197m for the first day. Saturday takings were rather less thrilling: £737,000. And then £574,000 on Sunday.


This suggests Twilight fans are every bit as impatient, if perhaps less numerous, than we expected, although there is an entirely different explanation that will give comfort to E1: many schools had a half-day on 19 December as they broke up for Christmas, giving pupils much more access to cinemas than is normal for a Friday. (Step Up 2 The Streets, which opened on the Good Friday holiday, followed a pattern close to Twilight’s on its first weekend.)

The multiplex chain we emailed last week was forecasting a weekend of £3.5million for Twilight. The actual result – £2.5million – is significantly down on that, but a few months ago such a figure would have been viewed as a great success. The hype on Twilight had clearly fuelled unrealistic expectations across the industry. E1 will now be hoping for repeat business to kick in, and for secondary audiences to embrace the picture over the Christmas holidays.

That’s really too bad! I thought based on the reviews that UK audiences were really embarassing the picture. I hope the business does pick up over the holidays for the film!