Gower Street’s senior box office analyst Delphine Lievens discussed the surprise UK-success of YA romantic drama AFTER WE COLLIDED this week in The Guardian newspaper. Speaking to journalist Elle Hunt, Delphine described the film’s success as “completely unprecedented”; calling its 2-week, £1 million gross “really impressive” given the film’s lack of marketing.

The article, titled “After We Collided: does this shock hit point the way to cinema’s future?“, was published in The Guardian on Friday (Sept. 18).

AFTER WE COLLIDED opened September 4 in UK/Ireland at fewer than 50 locations but still landed at #3 in the chart with £176k, according to our partners at Comscore Movies. The success quickly led to other exhibitors booking the film, which had expanded to nearly 390 locations by week 2 and rose to #2 in the chart with a second weekend of £442k (up 151% week-on-week). By the close of its second week the film had grossed £1.1 million and was set to expand into even more sites for week 3. This despite the fact it is a sequel to a 2019 film, AFTER, that was overlooked for theatrical release in UK/Ireland, releasing instead via Netflix.

The article, which also quoted Screendaily journalist Ben Dalton and Wattpad’s Aron Levitz, suggests the success may indicate a “disconnect between gatekeepers and cinemagoers” – in this case predominately teenage girls.

Delphine said a key lesson from the success was that: “no distributor in the UK had identified that there was an audience for this film”. As well as this latest success she pointed out how many in the UK industry had been surprised by the “huge unexpected success” of 2019 hits FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS and BLUE STORY, suggesting further blindspots in distribution. “There were lots of old white men scratching their heads and going ‘Where did this come from?'”, she added.