A slow week at the nation’s theatres saw Jason Statham surprisingly emerge as the king of the box office. The chrome-domed mockney thesp stars in crime caper The Bank Job, which narrowly overcame Will Ferrell’s new comedy Semi-Pro in a less-than-epic struggle for the number one spot.
This time of year is notoriously slow for cinema releases, with studios usually sitting on their big guns for summer releases and instead using the period as a dumping ground for their less-than-promising, lower budget offerings. This year executives at the big five have bucked the trend a bit – Paramount’s Cloverfield and Fox’s Jumper together raked in big bucks.
This week, though, has seen normal service resumed, with the soulless accountants totting up the profits from The Bank Job and Semi-Pro sure to be disappointed with their takings; the films both scraped less than a million each. The Stath can at least console himself with the fact that The Bank Job received surprisingly good reviews — with an 81% score on the Tomatometer, but Semi-Pro had no such luck. No fewer than three quarters of critics gave the pic a negative review, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw labelling the film “chillingly devoid of laughs”.
It was the big-budget behemoths still lurking in the charts that took the biggest financial hit from the lackadaisical British cinema-going public. Arthritis-riddled killing machine Rambo took in 59% less cash than last week, with studio Sony’s spat with the Odeon cinema chain surely biting into their much-needed profits. The film fell from 3rd to 9th in the charts.
Handheld beasty-mash-up Cloverfield also finally relinquished its slimy grip on a top ten place. The J.J. Abrams produced, ahem, monstrosity tumbled from 9th to 17th place, taking in 74% less moolah than the previous week.
Even RT fave Alvin and the Chipmunks – previously impervious to bad reviews, cinema-going trends and the vagaries of basic human decency – was finally abandoned by its army of loyal fans and also dropped out of the top ten. However, we’re sure the be-suited bean counters at Fox, in between sips of Cristal obviously, will still congratulate themselves on the film’s $22 mill take in the UK alone.