Having languished at third place last week behind James Bond and assorted randy vampires, second week kiddie hold RISE OF THE GUARDIANS benefited from the onset of Christmas fever, jumping to the top spot with £1.6M this weekend. The promise of yet further spoils once the holidays kick in, to add to a running total just over £4M, will have Santa Claus and crew rubbing their hands in fiscal glee. At second place, SKYFALL continued to thrive having already smashed past the record for biggest ever UK film earlier in the week. Taking £1.4M over the weekend, the film has clocked a devastating £96M to date, setting the next target at a £100M UK gross. Bring it on. And finally at third place, franchise closer TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART II took a further £980K to put the film at £33M to date. The film has showed unusual sustaining power for the generally front-loaded franchise, but is clearly slowing down.
At fourth position, third weeker NATIVITY 2: DANGER IN THE MANGER dug in ahead of an anticipated school holiday cash explosion, with a modest £966K and £4.4M to date, while at firth place, edgy new start SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS self-reflexed its way to a postmodern £820K and decent £2K average, despite dividing critics. At sixth, third week sadcore romcom SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK overdosed its way to another £820K to put the film on a xanaxed £1.1M to date, while at seventh, Miss Havisham failed to set the box office on fire with starry adaptation GREAT EXPECTATIONS grinding to a halt weekend 2, with a disappointing £446K and low £1.1K average. At eighth place, Ben Affleck’s period thriller ARGO took another £339K to put the film on £1.4M after five weeks. Then at ninth, a live broadcast of Verdi’s mind-bogglingly silly opera ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ from the Met in New York managed a smashing total of £192K and £1.8K average from a single broadcast in 144 sites across the land. Operatic. The performance beat out third week hold END OF WATCH at tenth place, which on £216K has put the found footage gritfest on £4.9M thus far.
Of the remaining new starts, Miley Cyrus starrer SO UNDERCOVER went awol with an underwhelming £99K from wide release to average just £351 – well below the opening for Cyrus’ previous outing in LOL last year, which launched to £114K from smaller release. RZA’s ultra-ironic kung fu pastiche THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS opened to £4K to average a limp £481. But the miss of the week title definitely goes to American romcom farce THE ORANGES, which took a miserable £18K from 107 sites to average just £180. In ten sites, Charlotte Rampling London Noir I, ANNA took £15.5K, while in 35 sites American Indie CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER took just £6.7K to average a relationship-ruining £270. We are all ultimately alone.
Over in the states, a quiet weekend saw Bond power punch his way to the number one spot with a further $11M, putting SKYFALL at a jaw-dripping $261M to date. At second place, RISE OF THE GUARDSIANS took a further $10.5M to make a respectable $61M thus far, while at third place, TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART II slowed down to $9.2M and $268M to date. A slow Indie box office saw a fairly decent four site launch for awards entry HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON at $83K and a $20.8K average – figures nonetheless underwhelming for an awards hopeful set to aggressively expand in the coming weeks – while decent holds for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and RUST AND BONE made up for a lack of decent openers.
From this coming Friday, those for whom ten hours of Middle Earth was simply not enough can return for a further three with Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, while those who prefer elegant fairies over butch dwarves will relish 3D animation TINKER BELL AND THE SECRET OF THE WINGS on saturation release. On the indie circuit, look out for small launches for Sundance drunk saga SMASHED, Norwegian crime epic FALSE TRAIL and Gallic camp classic in the making LOVE CRIME, while reissues for BABETTE’S FEAST and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? will keep cinephiles happy. Long live cinema.