'Onward' tops first UK box office post-lockdown with just £21,000

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2-min read
Ian and Barley embark on an epic quest in search of a rare Phoenix Gem in an effort to fully conjure their late dad for one magical day. (© 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)
Ian and Barley embark on an epic quest in search of a rare Phoenix Gem in an effort to fully conjure their late dad for one magical day. (© 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Pixar’s Onward has topped the UK box office in the first weekend that cinemas in England were allowed to reopen following lockdown.

According to Screen Daily, the Disney release took £21,626 over 5-6 July, ahead of Universal’s Trolls World Tour which took £16,941. Sony’s Bad Boys For Life came in third with £16,070.

These figures are a fraction of what you would usually expect from a prime summer box office weekend, with Spider-Man: Far From Home taking £14,148,624 in its opening weekend of 5-7 July, 2019.

Around 50 cinemas across the country opened from 4 July, with Onward playing at 47 of those locations. Trolls World Tour was released exclusively on demand from 6 April, so this weekend was the first time movie fans could see the film on the big screen.

Phil Clapp, Chief Executive of the UK Cinema Association, said audiences were low, but cinemas were encouraged by reopening weekend: “While the level of admissions was therefore modest compared to what we would ordinarily see at this time of the year, those who did open were I know hugely reassured by the enthusiasm to return shown by their audiences.”

Read more: Onward director on ‘surprise gift’ of cinemas closing

Fantasy animation Onward, starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, was initially released on 6 March just weeks before cinemas were ordered to close in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has subsequently been released on digital download and disc, but with a dearth of new releases in cinemas, it still proved to be the most popular film at cinemas over the weekend.

Rounding out the top box office top five was 2017 Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman in fourth place with £14,499, and Sam Mendes’ award-winning 1917 in fifth place with £12,744.