The UK Box Office Missed A Marvel Blockbuster In April 2024

By Kieran Burt
Published: April 20, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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April 2024 UK Box Office Results and Analysis
Back to Black | Image via Focus Features

While April is usually a strong month for the UK Box Office, even in the post-pandemic era, April 2024 is quieter than usual, with no mass market movies like 2023’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and, crucially, the absence of a late-April MCU movie, which has been an important fixture in recent years.  

Some big hitters included Civil War, Back To Black, and Challengers. Horror was also all the rage, with Sting and The First Omen. So while there is no lack of films out in April, they didn’t attract huge audiences

This comparison will show the pre-pandemic box office average (2015-2019, the red line), the post-pandemic box office average (2021-2023, the yellow line), and the current 2024 box office (the blue line). Numbers aren’t adjusted for inflation and are from the British Film Institute.

 

Weekend 17 – April 26-28, 2024

April 2024 UK Box Office Results and Analysis

April 26-28, 2024

  • The final weekend of April 2024 saw a slight rise in the UK box office, totaling £7,198,863.
  • The only major opening to cinemas this weekend was Challengers, which took home £1,607,094. 
  • This weekend in 2024 comes nowhere close to the pre-pandemic average for the same weekend in that era, which was £27,465,842.80 
  • The same weekend in the post-pandemic garnered £8,959,543, which shows that this last weekend in April has lost its box office prominence.  
  • The first weekend in May sees the opening of The Fall Guy, and the return of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to cinemas. 

The box office total for Weekend 17 in 2024 came to £7,198,863, which is an 8% rise on the last weekend, picking the box office from the depths. Challengers, the top-performing film for this weekend, opened to a quiet £1,607,094. It’s a surprisingly low total considering this film had Zendaya as its lead and the marketing promised a saucy experience, but audiences decided against viewing it. This takes the weekend average for the year so far to £10,454,991.

The same weekend in the pre-pandemic era managed to pull in a whopping £27,465,842.80. 2024’s total is 74% lower than this. This is because the last weekend in April has previously been Marvel Studios’ favorite time to release their films. In 2015, they released Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2017 had Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2018 had Avengers: Infinity War and 2019 had Avengers: Endgame. The exception to this is Weekend 17 of 2016, where Marvel Studios didn’t release a film, as in that year the last weekend in April was Weekend 18. Then, Captain America: Civil War was released. 

The top-performing film of this weekend for the pre-pandemic era was 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, opening to a whopping £43,400,000. This unsurprisingly drove this weekend in 2019 to be the top-performing weekend of the pre-pandemic era, topping out at £47,289,640. It’s a staggering amount.

The same weekend in the post-pandemic era is comparable to this year, however, with it coming in at £8,959,543. 2024’s total was 20% lower. It’s highly different to the pre-pandemic era, largely because in the post-pandemic era Marvel Studios has vacated the traditional Week 17 spot, and has instead moved their films into May or, as is the case for 2024, beyond that. The pandemic has had a profound effect on Marvel Studio’s release strategy, and taken the earnings that used to come on this weekend with it. 

The top-performing film of this era for this weekend is extremely close, but, only by just over £5,000, the opening weekend of 2022’s Downton Abbey: A New Era beats out the fourth weekend of Universal’s 2023 juggernaut, The Super Mario. Bros Movie, with A New Era came in with a total of £3,072,762. Weekend 17’s top-performing year in the post-pandemic period is 2022 with a total of £9,444,587.

Weekend 18 sees Oppenheimer and Barbie stars Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling unite in The Fall Guy, though that point hasn’t caught the zeitgeist as much as Univeral perhaps would have liked. Star Wars: Episode I – Phantom Menace will also be re-released into cinemas due to the occurrence of May 4th, and so Disney will be hoping fans turn out for that.

Weekend 16 – April 19-21, 2024

April 2024 UK Box Office Results and Analysis

April 19-21, 2024

  • Weekend 16 saw the weekend box office drop to its lowest point so far this year, only totaling £6,659,354. 
  • The new horror film Abigail drew blood better than money at the box office, opening at number five. 
  • This weekend couldn’t surpass the same totals of the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic eras. Weekend 17’s biggest opener is Challengers starring Zendaya.

The total box office for Weekend 16 in 2024 could only muster £6,659,354, a total that’s the lowest for the year so far. It was a bleak weekend for cinemas, with little new out to draw audiences. Back To Black retained its number one spot at the box office with a total of £1,897,014, a 32% decline on the previous week. Civil War came in second with a £1,055,680 haul, a 42% decline on the previous week.

The weekend total is still below the same weekend total for the pre-pandemic average of £9,408,617.20. 2024’s total is 29% lower, which is still a disappointing gap but one that’s been relatively average throughout the year. In the pre-pandemic era, this weekend was also the lowest in the year so far, proving that this weekend isn’t a hard box office hitter.

The top-performing film for this weekend in the pre-pandemic era was the opening weekend of the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book in 2016 which totaled £9,901,921. The top performing year for this weekend in the pre-pandemic era was also 2016, totaling £16,587,620. 2016 is an anomaly within this era, as a major opening bucked the trend of a poor Weekend 16.

When compared to the post-pandemic era, 2024 also fairs poorly. The post-pandemic average for Weekend 16 is £8,718,060.50, not the lowest so far in this period. 2024’s total for this weekend is 24% lower. The top-performing film for Weekend 16 in the post-pandemic era is the third weekend of 2023’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which was £4,271,315. The top performing year for this weekend in the post-pandemic was also 2023, which had a total of £9,592,104.

Weekend 17 sees the opening of the long-delayed film Challengers, starring Zendaya. This film has a good chance of opening at number one, though it’s unclear what its total will be. Hopefully, it will bring a strong close to this lackluster April.

Weekend 15 – April 12-14, 2024

April 2024 UK Box Office Results and Analysis

April 12-14, 2024

  • Weekend 15 saw a slight uptick in box office gross, despite both Back To Black and Civil War releasing in cinemas.
  • The box office grew to £10,321,325 but couldn’t pass the box office totals for either the pre-pandemic or the post-pandemic. 
  • April has had a lackluster box office for the first half compared to past years.
  • Weekend 16’s major opening is Abigail, a horror film from Universal.

Weekend 15 only saw a slight uptick in box office business, rising 7% to £10,321,325. The two new openers Back To Black and Civil War had muted openings. Back To Black opened at number one with a total of £2,772,698. Both films will need strong holds in the following weekends if they want to stick around in the box office charts. Back To Black is better positioned in this regard, as the older audiences it’s targeting don’t usually rush out to cinemas but instead come once a film has been out. 

There’s nothing new to say about this compared to the pre-pandemic period, as it’s once again lower. Weekend 15 in the pre-pandemic period saw the box office stand at  £14,942,987.20, meaning 2024’s box office is 31% lower than this total. The highest-performing film on this weekend in the pre-pandemic era was the opening weekend of The Fate of the Furious at £14,026,301 in 2018. The top-performing Weekend 15 of this era was also in 2018 at £24,194,226.

Things are similarly bad when compared to the post-pandemic era, which at Weekend 15 pulled in £12,316,334.50, making 2024’s total 16% lower. This regression will no doubt disappoint cinema owners and studio executives. The top-performing film for Weekend 15 in the post-pandemic era was the second weekend of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023 coming in at £7,568,523. The top-performing Weekend 15 of this era was also 2023 and is £12,753,858.

April is usually the month when a big, flashy blockbuster film opens huge, as indicated by both 2018 and 2023, but 2024 doesn’t have one that cinemas can look forward to. Civil War was perhaps the closest thing to this, but it hasn’t caught the audience’s attention like a big blockbuster would. Weekend 16 sees the opening of the horror film Abigail, but nothing else of note. 

Weekend 14 – April 05-07 2024 

April 2024 UK Box Office Results and Analysis

April 5-7, 2024

  • April’s first weekend showed a significant decline compared to the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic era, with the weekend box office total falling to £9,628,279.
  • This was despite two new releases, Monkey Man and The First Omen.
  • Films released in March – Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, Dune: Part Two, Kung Fu Panda 4, and Ghostbusters: The Frozen Empire held alright, but still couldn’t push the box office to the heights of previous years. 
  • Weekend 15 sees the release of Civil War and Back To Black. 

Weekend 14 was an OK office weekend for 2024, dropping 36% from Weekend 13 to £9,628,279, though it should have been higher with the healthy marketplace. The two openers, Monkey Man and The First Omen didn’t attract huge audiences, coming in at number five and six respectively. The Weekend 14 total also fell below the weekly box office rolling average, which sits at £10,968,235.86.

When compared to the pre-pandemic period, Weekend 14 couldn’t match the £16,063,471.40 box office total for the same weekend in that era. 2024’s total is 40% lower than this, which is disappointing, though not the biggest drop of the year so far. The top-performing film from this period was the opening of Fast and Furious 7 at £12,765,033 in 2015, which also was the top-performing weekend in the pre-pandemic era with a total of £22,569,537. 

Comparisons to the post-pandemic era are also unfavorable, as Weekend 14 in this period grossed £16,664,385. 2024’s total is 42% lower than this, the biggest drop so far this year. The top-performing film of this era was the opening weekend of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023, which was also the top-performing weekend in the post-pandemic era with a total of £21,433,371. 

So this weekend is a disappointment when compared to previous years, despite the strong marketplace. Early April is usually when big blockbusters are released to ravenous audiences, but this year there was no such big offering, despite the strong number of films in the marketplace. Weekend 15 sees two new films open, Civil War and Back To Black, and hopefully they can help the 2024 box office reach the heights of previous years. 


For more analysis of the UK Box Office, you can check out our breakdowns of January 2024, February 2024, and March 2024

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