Both Brave and Bourne benefited from an unconventional Monday release, while Ted joined the £20m club, and Batman broke more records
The winnerCritics have remarked that historical animated adventure Brave doesn't quite boast the trademark originality of a Pixar film, but UK box-office has been pretty robust.
Following 10 days in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland that yielded £2.22m, expansion last Monday into England and Wales saw seven-day takings across the whole region of just over £6m, for a total to date of £8.27m.
The flick grossed £2.60m over the Friday-to-Sunday period.
The eccentric release pattern makes comparisons with previous Pixar flicks tricky: last summer, for what it's worth, Cars 2 debuted with three-day takings of £3.54m.
On the other hand, there is one comparison it is possible to make: earlier this summer, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift opened in the same territories two weeks early, and boosted its opening tally in England and Wales with four days of previews.
After 17 days of play in the Irish and Scottish territories and seven days in England and Wales, it stood at £13.05m, compared to £8.27m for Brave.
Received wisdom in Hollywood states that a family flick with a female protagonist is a riskier proposition, since girls will see a flick about a boy, but not so much vice versa.
If Brave proves a solid performer, we should see this argument being advanced less often.
The runner-upWhen Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon opted not to make a fourth Bourne movie, Universal certainly had cause for despondency.
Could the studio extend the franchise with a new character? So far, with The Bourne Legacy, the answer would seem to be yes, with a £4.62m opening for the latest instalment, starring Jeremy Renner as fellow rogue operative Aaron Cross.
Examine the small print, and it's a tad less impressive – four days of previews contributed £2.52m of that total.
Likewise, comparisons to previous Bourne flicks do not flatter: The Bourne Ultimatum debuted with £6.55m including £1.24m from a single day of previews.
Even The Bourne Supremacy, with £2.72m including £361,000 in previews, took a bit more over the official Friday-to-Sunday period than The Bourne Legacy.
The £20m clubSeth Macfarlane's Ted is the 10th release so far this year to crack £20m at the UK box-office, and with £22.19m is in fact 2012's seventh biggest hit.
It's currently beaten by Marvel Avengers Assemble (£51.8m), The Dark Knight Rises (£49.7m), Ice Age 4 (£27.6m), Amazing Spider-Man (£25.7m), Prometheus (£24.7m) and The Hunger Games (£23.8m).
However Ted has achieved its tally in just three weeks, and there's more life in the talking bear yet.
Ted's weekend takings of £2.08m meant that The Expendables 2, with £1.99m including £435,000 in previews, landed in disappointing fourth place.
Exactly two years ago, The Expendables debuted at the top with £3.94m, including previews totaling £1.80m.
Lionsgate, the film's backer, will point to the weekend heatwave experienced by much of England as an inhibiting factor, as well as a tougher competitive environment in cinemas, but it's hard not to conclude that UK audience appetite for this franchise has significantly diminished.
The record-breakerThe weekend saw The Dark Knight Rises overtake The Dark Knight (£49m) to become the biggest Batman flick ever at the UK box-office.
It's also entered the All Time Top 20, sandwiched between Harry Potter flicks Order of the Phoenix (£49.9m) and Goblet of Fire (£49.2m).
The Dark Knight Rises was one of five flicks that grossed £1m at the weekend (see chart, below), the first time that a quintet of pictures achieved that feat since April.
Overall, there's much more strength in depth in the chart than has been observed lately, with 10th placed The Wedding Video grossing £333,000.
This compares with just three weeks ago, when Men in Black 3 earned 10th place with just £34,500, the lowest figure for a flick in the UK top 10 in many years.
The Bollywood hitFollowing his smash hit action comedy Bodyguard nearly a year ago, Salman Khan delivers another big opening with thriller Ek Tha Tiger, a globetrotting saga that sends him as a secret agent to Dublin, Istanbul, Kazakhstan and Chile.
The flick debuted with £543,000, including previews of £142,000.
That's down on Bodyguard (£840,000 including previews of £408,000), but is nevertheless the biggest opening for a Bollywood flick so far this year, eclipsing Housefull 2 (£396,000 including previews).
The futureThanks to the arrival of Brave and Bourne, and the films' Monday openings contributing generous portions of preview takings, overall the market is 105% up on the previous weekend.
However, the frame is still 22% down on the 2011 equivalent, when The Inbetweeners Movie contributed a colossal £13.2m including previews.
The coming weekend represents a huge unknown quantity for cinemas since Keith Lemon: The Film is exceptionally hard to call.
Rarely has a picture been so systematically protected from assessment by professional critics.
Alternatives include comedy The Watch, starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, and The Three Stooges, the latter surely a distribution challenge in the UK.
Acclaimed documentary The Imposter could make waves in a becalmed arthouse sector.
IRA drama Shadow Dancer, starring Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen, aims to steer a middle path.
Top 10 films1.
Brave, £5,269,402 from 553 sites.
The Bourne Legacy, £4,620,289 from 498 sites (New)
Ted, £2,076,046 from 462 sites.
The Expendables 2, £1,985,082 from 451 sites (New)
The Dark Knight Rises, £1,506,178 from 440 sites.
Ek Tha Tiger, £543,073 from 68 sites (New)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, £459,526 from 463 sites.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, £350,788 from 413 sites.
Step Up 4: Miami Heat, £340,072 from 394 sites.
The Wedding Video, £333,079 from 347 sites (New)
Take this Waltz, 30 sites, £70,358
The Bird, 7 sites, £3,600
My Brothers, 11 sites, £3,518 (Ireland only)
The Devil's Business, no figures available
PixarUniversal PicturesMatt DamonPaul GreengrassHarry PotterCharles Gantguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
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