UPDATE, THURSDAY AM: The lads have done it. The Inbetweeners 2, which opened on Wednesday, scored a record-breaking first day with more than £2.75M ($4.63M) across the UK — and with some sites still to report. That makes it the biggest-ever opening day for a comedy at the UK box office and bests the previous film’s £2.61M ($4.39M) record achievement in 2011. The film has received largely positive reviews since its world premiere on Tuesday night and looks set for a big weekend with only one wide release bowing on Friday, Planes: Fire & Rescue. But with Guardians Of The Galaxy entering its 2nd frame and potentially dividing some fanboy attention, it could be a photo finish for Inbetweeners versus its own 2011 opening weekend record of £13.22M ($22.29M). I’ve heard estimates of about £12M for this time around, but with a super start, that might be a conservative take. The original film was ultimately the No. 3 title of 2011 with £45M. For more on the film’s history, crude (yet loveable) envelope-pushing humor, and a trailer, see below.
PREVIOUS, TUESDAY: While Hollywood comedies like Neighbors (aka Bad Neighbours in the UK) and 22 Jump Street have been playing very strongly this summer in Britian, local comedies have had mixed results. A film based on canine Britain’s Got Talent winner Pudsey was quickly sent to the dog house. But Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie has amassed $23.3M. Fortunes may be about to change. After a massive £45M ($75M) at the British box office in 2011, The Inbetweeners Movie sequel is set to bow tomorrow in the UK. And the numbers could be healthy as a teenage boy, with throngs of kids poised to reunite with pals Will, Jay, Neil and Simon as they backpack through Australia, aka “the sex capital of the world.” The original film, about a group of randy but loveable friends straddling the line between dorks and cool, is the most successful UK indie comedy ever, and was the No. 3 film of 2011. That placed it below only Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part Two and The King’s Speech that year — and ahead of such pics as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Whether it can measure up to that hormone-charged performance is something of a question mark since the first film was seen as a continuation of the original TV series which ended its run in 2010. Some time has passed, but the trailer has played well in theaters for months. Save for Planes: Fire & Rescue, it is the only wide release on a 10-film docket this weekend — although Guardians Of The Galaxy will be in its 2nd frame. Both films are likely to have a great weekend. They don’t share exactly same audience, with Inbetweeners skewing older at a 15 rating. Notably, Guardians opened in the same slot that Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes did in 2011, a week ahead of the first Inbetweeners, and Apes held strongly. Nevertheless, in 2011, Inbetweeners set a record for biggest UK comedy opening ever with £13.22M ($22.29M). That’s already bigger than Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s UK bow this year, and if it matches the previous figure, it will become the year’s biggest opener across the board. See the trailer below (with crudeness warning).
The Inbetweeners phenomenon started out as a TV series at Channel 4’s E4 and moved to the big screen courtesy of Film4. A sort of British take on American Pie, it followed the boys’ misadventures on a summer vacation after their last year of school. The core cast of Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas all reprised their roles for the first pic and are back for the second which moves the action to Australia during sex-crazed Jay’s “mental gap year” where he says things like “you know why they call it Down Under…”. Judging from the trailer below, this is one designed strictly for the youth crowd, and if it’s a repeat of last time, play will be heavy in the suburbs.
Still, crossover chances for The Inbetweeners Movie 2 are not so hot in the U.S., though it should do well Down Under given the Gold Coast locations. In the U.S., where it does not have a planned release, the original did about $36K in a limited 2012 run at the box office. A TV series remake at MTV aired that same year, but was not picked up for a 2nd season despite critical praise. Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, creators of the original series, exec produced that one and also helm the 2nd movie adaptation; Ben Palmer directed the first. In 2013, Paramount set Jim Field Smith to direct its remake Virgins America, but there has been no movement since. Regardless, we’ll keep an eye on its UK movement this weekend. Here’s the trailer: