‘Barbenheimer’ Dominates U.K. Box Office With Combined $37 Million

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” were the dominant forces at the U.K. and Ireland box office this weekend, with a combined debut take of £29.4 million ($37.6 million), per numbers from Comscore.

Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” led the way with a mighty £18.5 million, while Universal’s “Oppenheimer” collected £10.8 million. Cinema chains reported record turnouts, with Vue saying that it witnessed its biggest weekend in four years and second biggest weekend in history by admissions. “Barbie” is on track to become the biggest film of 2023 in the territory, ahead of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

London was at the heart of the box office bonanza with cinemas enjoying unprecedented sales. Curzon reported the busiest weekend in their history with over 200 sold-out screenings in their London venues, and Picturehouse Cinema, with 13 venues in London, also reporting their best weekend ever.

Oliver Meek, executive director of the Rio Dalston, said: “The ‘Barbenheimer’ weekend was our most commercially successful weekend ever. We sold over 5,000 tickets this weekend, 865 servings of popcorn and 183 ‘Barbie’ cocktails. We took more money this weekend than we did in the whole of June. We expect to be sold out every night this week, with tonight and Wednesday already fully booked.”

Lucy Jones, executive director U.K. and Ireland, Italy, Middle East and Africa at Comscore, added: “London normally accounts for 25% of U.K. and Ireland box office revenue, contributing almost £150 million so far this year. Both ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ were popular here, selling over £8 million of tickets. London audiences delivered 29% of ‘Oppenheimer’ ticket sales, boosted by Imax screenings.”

In third place, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” earned £2.8 million in its second weekend for a total of £16.4 million. In its third weekend, in fourth position, Disney’s “Elemental” took in £1.4 million for a total of £8.9 million.

Rounding off the top five was Disney’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” which whipped up £677,203 in its fourth weekend for a total of £17.9 million. There were no other debuts in the top 10.

The upcoming weekend understandably does not have any big releases, save one which features big names for its target market: Moviegoers Entertainment is releasing Bollywood film “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” by star filmmaker Karan Johar, with a cast awash in A-listers including Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi.

With the school holidays underway, Miracle/Dazzler is opening family animation title “Mavka: The Forest Song” across more than 100 locations, Altitude is opening horror-thriller “Talk to Me,” Tull Stories is bowing Nepal-set documentary “Baato” and Apple TV+ is giving a limited theatrical release to comedy-drama “The Beanie Bubble.”

Sofia Coppola’s feature directorial debut “The Virgin Suicides” (1999) is getting a re-release from Park Circus and a 4K restoration.

On July 31, Paramount is taking the “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” route by also opening “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” on a Monday. The latest reboot of the franchise will debut across more than 300 locations.

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