UPDATED: UK Box Office Breakdown: Odeon Snubs Rambo

Sony/Odeon spat denies action flick no.1 spot.

by | February 29, 2008 | Comments

This week's UK Box Office Top EightRambo wasn’t box office number 1 in the UK chart this week – and it’s all down to the Odeon.

The cinema chain, the largest in UK, refused to show Sylvester Stallone‘s violent new film in any of their UK theatres. It still made a strong showing everywhere else, making £2.5m and coming in at number three in the chart. But it surely would’ve claimed top spot had it been represented in more than 100 Odeon cinemas.

The reasons for the extraordinary snub are unclear. In an official statement, Odeon claimed the decision was down to “commercial reasons”. They said: “As the UK’s largest cinema chain, Odeon offers its guests a wide range of film genres to appeal to many different audiences. As such the decision not to screen Rambo will free up screens to show alternative popular new films such as Jumper, Be Kind Rewind and Juno.”

What these commercial reasons could be, however, is unclear. Whilst the film wasn’t a huge smash in the States, it still opened at number one and has taken over $40m so far, meaning the idea that it wasn’t commercially viable to take up Odeon’s screens is rather odd.

It’s more probable that the real reason for the snub was the cinema chain’s breakdown in negotiations with the film’s distributor Sony. It is rumoured that the dispute revolves around the share of the profits from the film, although, again, there has been no official comment on this.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors Association, said: “Odeon haven’t pulled the film, they have refused to show it. It’s very rare for this to happen with a film of this profile. I understand that Odeon were not happy with the terms the distributors were asking.”

It’s all very bizarre, and until Odeon and/or Sony give us something official, it’s all just speculation. What is clear, though, is that the UK box office looks odd as a result. Action flick Jumper is going strong at number one in its second week, whilst new entry Be Kind Rewind is just ahead of Rambo in second place.

Michel Gondry’s quirky comedy about two friends ( Jack Black and Mos Def ) who begin remaking Hollywood classics themselves – with hilarious consequences obviously – has received mixed but generally favourable reviews (68% on the Tomatometer) and has obviously benefitted from an intensive advertising campaign.

Although no other new releases broke into the charts, fans of gags about animals eating their own droppings will be glad to hear that Alvin and the Chipmunks rose triumphantly back into the top ten. The film, based around the titular high-pitched rodent trio, has now made over £21m at the UK box office alone.

29/2 UPDATE:

Since we published this story, Sony has issued a press release outlining how successful it feels Rambo has been, despite the Odeon snub. MD Peter Taylor said: “Sony Pictures are delighted with the success of the latest instalment of the Rambo franchise. With the movie heading UK box office charts everyday this week it is obvious that the original fans of the character have embraced the new movie alongside a whole new generation seeing Rambo at the cinema for the first time.” They also released facts and figures outlining the film’s strong box office performance — comparing Rambo‘s gross to similarly 18-rated franchises Saw and Hostel.

More interesting is Sony’s decision to release a statement at all. Rambo‘s success in the US, and the fact that the film had the highest screen average of any top ten movie in the UK are both indicative of the film’s obviously sizeable audience. However recent reports in the media have claimed that the film was dropped by Odeon because they expected it to perform poorly and it’s possible that this is the reason for Sony’s comment.

Tag Cloud

crossover The Arrangement Rom-Com YouTube Premium DirecTV BET Sony Pictures Mary Tyler Moore Columbia Pictures GIFs Quiz travel BBC See It Skip It Food Network Acorn TV diversity crime drama Trivia Crackle based on movie X-Men police drama Comic Book thriller CW Seed Photos BBC America YA Esquire Musical Election Toys IFC Tomatazos Bravo OWN comiccon transformers Calendar SXSW USA Network Premiere Dates zombies CBS technology MTV DC Comics CMT cats medical drama Pixar serial killer Musicals Countdown Drama Sundance El Rey comic dc Rock TruTV hist PBS talk show Marvel ratings Valentine's Day Fantasy zombie Polls and Games dramedy Lucasfilm LGBTQ E! 2015 ITV TV Comics on TV unscripted CBS All Access Teen ABC Animation Podcast Music 21st Century Fox spy thriller Shondaland Starz Watching Series Reality Competition Infographic SundanceTV Superheroes FXX Apple mutant Summer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt AMC 2016 Cosplay DC Universe Showtime Adult Swim Pirates Walt Disney Pictures NBC Netflix Fox News harry potter Lionsgate Trailer romance Comedy festivals singing competition television sitcom Rocky American Society of Cinematographers Spike Awards Universal Syfy crime TV Land Year in Review A&E Country crime thriller The CW Best and Worst Nat Geo Star Trek Schedule National Geographic Winners Christmas Certified Fresh Creative Arts Emmys First Look dceu Action blaxploitation Nominations boxoffice NYCC MSNBC Paramount Network biography Martial Arts discovery Lifetime Red Carpet VH1 Amazon Hulu Shudder E3 Thanksgiving Writers Guild of America 45 aliens Disney Extras TNT science fiction TCM justice league Winter TV binge Ellie Kemper war Warner Bros. Tumblr historical drama Box Office Grammys Mindy Kaling Ghostbusters Marathons ESPN Logo Interview Horror History social media Song of Ice and Fire anime Ovation Oscars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TCA 2017 Holidays Sci-Fi TLC HBO golden globes 007 Spring TV Character Guide PaleyFest Cartoon Network psycho sports CNN cinemax Sundance Now Masterpiece Reality VICE FOX cooking vampires finale jamie lee curtis Western Biopics 2017 Epix Freeform Sneak Peek SDCC FX Comedy Central USA TIFF ABC Family Emmys WGN Fall TV Kids & Family supernatural GLAAD cops Opinion TCA what to watch DC streaming service cults robots 20th Century Fox Superheroe TBS San Diego Comic-Con composers streaming APB adventure docudrama Pop Set visit Mystery Video Games politics Dark Horse Comics Trophy Talk period drama Nickelodeon YouTube Red IFC Films RT History Paramount President GoT political drama New York Comic Con Britbox Disney Channel Star Wars Awards Tour 24 frames Super Bowl doctor who