London riots hit as The Tree opens in the UK

The London riots have dragged down the UK box office over the weekend as Australian/French co-production The Tree posted a lacklustre opening across just six screens.

In a weekend which saw chaos around London and its surroundings, The Tree – through distributor Artificial Eye – grossed just £1762 ($2793) from six screens, giving it a screen average of £294 ($466).

Media measurement and research company Rentrak said UK theatrical revenue dropped 16 and 27 per cent on Monday and Tuesday respectively (compared with last week’s figures), as quoted by Variety.

Movie theatres were forced to close down on the weekend due to riots all across the UK, which started after Mark Duggan was shot dead by police.

The Tree joins Tomorrow, When The War Began which had unfortunate timing in the UK earlier this year, because, according to pundits, the best seasonal weather all year saw Brits bypass the multiplexes.

According to Box Office Mojo, powerful drama The Tree – which was made for more than $10 million – has grossed about $US2.2 million worldwide. In France, the film raked in about $US1.5 million after it opened on more than 220 screens last August. This followed the strong reception it received at the 63rd annual Cannes International Film Festival, when it received a seven-minute standing ovation on closing night.

It opened in Australia on 21 screens and made just $336,262 after 11 weeks, according to MPDAA.

Producer Sue Taylor, who was recently elected new SPAA vice-president, confirmed to IF the film had sold to 35 countries – across all continents – and had so far screened at 40 festivals.

The Julie Bertuccelli film, which starred Charlotte Gainsbourg, was shot in southeast Queensland. It follows the lives of mother Dawn (Gainsbourg) and her four children after the unexpected death of husband/father Peter (Aden Young). Simone (Morgana Davies, who appears in upcoming thriller The Hunter) is convinced her father speaks to her through the leaves of her favourite tree and that he’s coming back to protect them.

Shot on the Panasonic Millenium XL, finance was provided by Screen Australia, Canal Plus, Dorje Film, Arte, Screen Queensland, Screen NSW, Memento, Le Pacte, Taylor Media and Les Films Du Poisson.

The Tree  – Worldwide Box Office figures ($US), excluding Australia, US (According to Box Office Mojo)