The CG-animated family adventure Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted opened in first place at the UK box office this past weekend, preventing Taken 2 from claiming top spot for the third week in a row. The threequel pulled in a total of £6,030,904, which included £2.4m from Saturday and Sunday preview screenings last weekend, although its three-day Friday-to-Sunday haul of £3.6m was still enough to out perform the annual Paranormal Activity instalment, with Paranormal Activity 4 banking £2,544,701 including two days of previews - a series low, but still extremely solid when you consider the budget of these films.
As a result of the Paramount double-bill claiming first and second place, Taken 2 fell two places to third, while Hotel Transylvania and Looper also dropped two apiece to fourth and fifth respectively. In sixth place was another newcomer, Frankenweenie, with Tim Burton's latest stop-motion offering only managing £741,683, including two days of preview screenings. Only Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Big Fish have opened with less on these shores, and with Dark Shadows also performing pretty miserably earlier this year, 2012 certainly hasn't been the best of years for Burton here in the UK... well, apart from his BFI Fellowship, obviously.
Heading towards the bottom of the chart and Sinister fell four places to seventh, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower dropped the places to finish up in eighth ahead of another new release, Beasts of the Southern Wild, with the acclaimed fantasy drama banking a solid £181,801 from a limited release. Finally, after falling out of the top ten last weekend, Disney-Pixar's Brave reentered the chart in tenth position, adding another £176k on its twelfth week on screens.Number one this time last year: Paranormal Activity 3
1. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, £6,030,904 weekend (New)
2. Paranormal Activity 4, £2,544,701 weekend (New)
3. Taken 2, £2,264,856 weekend (3 weeks)
4. Hotel Transylvania, £1,023,722 weekend (2 weeks)
5. Looper, £781,211 weekend (4 weeks)
6. Frankenweenie, £741,683 weekend (New)
7. Sinister, £711,918 weekend (3 weeks)
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, £213,091 weekend (3 weeks)
9. Beasts of the Southern Wild, £181,801 weekend (New)
10. Brave, £176,827 weekend (12 weeks - 2 weeks from Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland only)
The big release this coming Friday is of course James Bond's twenty-third screen adventure, Skyfall (cert. TBC) [read our review here]; unsurprisingly, competition from newcomers is somewhat sparse, but alternatives include comedian Ross Noble's feature acting debut Stitches (cert. TBC), Ursula Meier's Sister (cert. TBC) [read our review here], and Rodney Archer's Shining documentary Room 237 (cert. 15) [read our review here]. And of course, with All Hallow's Eve upon us, there's also a special big screen reissue of that John Carpenter's classic, Halloween (cert. 18).