Ryan Gilbey on film

As if you hadn't guessed already, it's now official. Independence Day has repeated its Stateside success over here and has notched up the UK's biggest weekend opening ever. You want the facts? pounds 6,824,163, including previews, in 434 cinemas. That's 40 per cent up on Jurassic Park's record (pounds 4,875,137). And way ahead of Batman Forever (pounds 4,714,153) and Mission: Impossible (pounds 4,161,780). And there are probably a million other records just waiting to be compiled for that forthcoming gold-embossed video boxed set with matching Independence Day mouthwash and flossing set. Aren't you just thrilled to bits? Mike Archibald, the chief booker for Odeon Cinemas UK, certainly is. "The figures speak for themselves," he says in a press release, "queues all around the cinemas, this is the blockbuster of the decade." And Bill Weir, the manager of the Odeon Leicester Square is equally chuffed: "These are the longest queues I have seen in the West End, with people camping out for tickets for the opening day."

But then people will do anything won't they? People will put Bryan Adams at number one for 16 weeks. People will erect tents on pavements ready for the sales to start. People will do Mexican waves for heaven's sake. People are not to be trusted. This is not to damn Independence Day, which has had critical as well as public approbation. Or to complain that those people with their windcheaters and groundsheets in Leicester Square were necessarily dim. It's just to say that Christmas and summer can leave you positively concussed. It's the silly season, when profit subsumes all else and we are expected to bow at the altar of saturation advertising. The figures speak for themselves all right: they trumpet what's really important to the people in power, loud and clear.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore