UK Box Office January 4-6 2019: MARY POPPINS Threepeats, THE FAVOURITE gets rich

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It's another week flying high for Mary Poppins as the Disney musical spends its third week at number one. The Favourite was close to stealing Poppins' crown with a strong debut. Poppins made $5.65 million while The Favourite earnt $5.06 million. This is a surprisingly strong debut for such a small film. Andre Rieu's 2019 New Year Concert finished in fourth place, earning $2.22 million over the weekend.

Here are the top 10 films this week!
1. Mary Poppins Returns - $5.65 million - Week 3 - Down 40.2% - Total: $43.65 million
2, The Favourite - $5.06 million - Week 1 - NEW - Total: $5.06 million
3. Aquaman - $2.36 million - Week 4 - Down 24.0% - Total: $23.26 million
4. Andre Rieu's 2019 New Year Concert From Sydney - $2.22 million - Week 1 - NEW - Total: $2.22 million
5. Bumblebee - $2.21 million - Week 2 - Down 65.7% - Total: $11.59 million
6. Ralph Breaks the Internet - $1.41 million - Week 6 - Down 12.4% - Total: $20.20 million
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - $1.12 million - Week 4 - Down 13.5% - Total: $9.84 million
8. Bohemian Rhapsody - $923,159 - Week 11 - Up 12.2% - Total: $61.60 million
9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - $465,625 - Week 8 - Down 33.6% - Total: $42.64 million
10. Holmes & Watson - $446,791 - Week 2 - Down 59.4% - Total: $3.04 million

The Winner
Mary Poppins Returns spends its third (and probably final) week at the top of the UK box office. Poppins' takings dropped 40.2% to $5.65 million. Whilst this is much steeper than last week's tremendous hold (-8.2%), it isn't that surprising considering that the film's main audience, families, will have less time and money to spend after December's festivities. This drop is on par with Beauty and the Beast's (2017) third-week drop but is slightly higher than the third-week drops of Into the Woods (-33.3%) and The Greatest Showman (-11.5%). Poppins did open higher than both of those films so bigger drops are to be expected. Currently, Poppins has made $43.65 million in the UK; it's one of the ten biggest films of 2018 and will likely crack the top five if it can surpass $60 million. Musicals tend to have longevity and Poppins' awards nominations (and potential wins) should help her to keep drawing in audiences. Mary Poppins Returns has become Emily Blunt's most successful film in the UK, grossing more than The Girl on the Train ($29.5m), The Devil Wears Prada ($26.5m) and A Quiet Place ($16.9m). It's unfortunate that Poppins' worldwide numbers are softer as it has been a juggernaut in the UK.

The New Entries (Top 10)
Poppins may have held on to the crown for the third week but The Favourite was not far behind. The Olivia Colman/Emma Stone/Rachel Weisz period comedy grossed an impressive $5.06 million. Its box office is slightly inflated as the film did open on New Year's Day (Tuesday-Sunday), but a number two debut for an independent film with niche appeal is a great achievement. The Favourite is one of the only smaller films this award season that has buzz. Last year, Three Billboards, The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Darkest Hour etc all competed for Oscar glory, whereas it is audience favourite Black Panther, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody that are the frontrunners this year. The Favourite might have benefited from the deprivation of high-brow awards affair.

The Favourite is a big win for director Yorgos Lanthimos. It opened higher than the final UK box office takings of The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer combined! The Favourite is also a big win for Stone, Colman and even Weisz. The film's cast has been a major selling point so this $5 million+ debut is a great sign for The Favourite's leading ladies. This opening is on par with La La Land's second weekend ($5.38m). Its opening is 38% lower than La La Land's. Although The Favourite doesn't have the same buzz as La La Land, if it manages to stick around until the end of awards season, it has the potential to surpass $20 million. Thinking more realistically, The Favourite will likely close with around $13-15 million.

Andre Rieu's 2019 New Year Concert From Syndey was a massive success over the weekend. Rieu's concert was streamed to cinemas on Saturday and Sunday and grossed $2.22 million. Rieu's 2019 concert performed excellently for a live event. Although it won't stick around in the top 10 due to the nature of the event, it is already Andre Rieu's most successful cinema broadcast.

The Biggest Drop
As expected, Bumblebee had this weekend's biggest drop, sliding 65.7% from 2-5. Bumblebee's opening figures were inflated due to a tactical release strategy and now Paramount must pay the price. This weekend, Bumblebee grossed $2.21 million which takes its UK box office total to $11.59 million. Considering Bumblebee's opening weekend was enlarged, it is impressive that its second week drop is in line with the rest of the films in the Transformers franchise: Transformers dropped 73%, Revenge of the Fallen fell 47.9%, Dark of the Moon dropped 55.8%, Age of Extinction fell 84.8% and The Last Knight slid 64.6% - Bumblebee's 65.7% second-weekend drop isn't so bad after all! Bumblebee is already about a million away from outgrossing The Last Knight and will likely finish with around $15-20 million. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive so word-of-mouth should be strong.

The Best Holdover
Mamma mia, mamma mia, in its 11th week of release, Bohemian Rhapsody sees the strongest hold this weekend. The Queen biopic's box office takings increased by 12.2% this weekend. Bohemian Rhapsody earnt $0.92 million and has now made $61.6 million in the UK; it's one of the most successful films of 2018. Films with longevity like Bohemian Rhapsody are rare - it's unusual that a film is still in the top 10, nevermind making increasing amounts of money, after 11 weeks of release. Even Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and A Star is Born didn't last 11 weeks in the top 10. Despite opening much bigger, Bohemian Rhapsody's leggy box office performance is comparable to The Greatest Showman's. However, while Hugh Jackman still had over $10 million to make after its 11th week, Bohemian Rhapsody will likely close with $63-66 million. That being said, after big wins (including Best Picture) at the Golden Globes and potential Oscar nominations, Bohemian Rhapsody could be reignited. This film's success suggests great things for 2019's Elton John musical, Rocketman.

Source: ComScore

Next week, Stan & Ollie, The Upside and Collette open. Will Stan & Ollie be able to topple Mary Poppins? Will The Upside and Collette be able to crack the top 10? 

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