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HITS AND MISSES 22-24 FEB: BUSINESS AS USUAL

Wreck-it-ralphWith all eyes on Hollywood to bring the glamour with last night’s star-stuffed Oscar ceremony, the UK lived up to its dour rep with another unexotic weekend at the box office. In top place, WRECK IT RALPH soared into a third weekend of play with a further £3.4M, making nigh on £19M to date. At second place, second week hold A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD yippee ki-yayed it’s way to another £1.6M – albeit sans motherfucker. While at third, the only opener to really register – spooky horror MAMA – launched to a respectable £1.5M, marking the second Jessica Chastain hit of the year driven by spooky, unrelenting bloodlust.

At fourth position, Valjean/Javert stand off LES MISERABLES crooned and blustered its way to another £762K and just under £38M so far; at fifth, Working title sour-com I GIVE IT A YEAR took another £632K to make a smashing £5M after three weekends; while at sixth, bonkersbuster CLOUD ATLAS opened to £541K and a disappointing £1.9K average from ambitiously wide release in 291 sites – the UK, like the US, is evidently simply not ready for the spectacle of Tom Hanks goaded toward murder by Worzel Gummidge. At seventh position, THIS IS 40 went into a second weekend with £472K and just £2.3M so far; at eighth, grey pound hopeful SONG FOR MARION squibbed with a £451K opening to average £1.5K; at ninth, DJANGO UNCHAINED took £426K, edging the film closer to £15M after six weeks; and finally at tenth, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES flopped further after last week’s disappointing launch to take an additional £398K and just £2M so far for a teen dollar hopeful ultimately lacking in that much needed fiscal magic.

Of the remaining new starts, Terry Malick’s TO THE WONDER launched to a sober £96K from a 41 cinema launch – comparing to the £406K launch scored by TREE OF LIFE from 76 sites back in 2011. Also launching was intense postwar tale LORE which opened to a decent £58K from 21 sites to average just under £3K. Yogic sleeper hit BREATH OF THE GODS meanwhile took a very healthy £4.5K from just two sites, aligning all the chakras and bringing in all the moneys.

Over in the states, a very slow weekend saw hit comedy IDENTITY THIEF jump back up to top place in weekend 3 with a further $14M, making it the highest grosser of 2013 so far at $93M. At second place, hard-edged Dwayne (formerly ‘The Rock’) Johnson vehicle SNITCH opened to $13M, while at third, second week hold ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH took an additional $11M to make $35M so far. On the independent circuit, a few holdovers excelled, while no new openers stood out. NO proved the big hitter expanding from four to six screens in a second weekend of play, taking a further $82K and healthy $194K to date. However, losing out to AMOUR in the best foreign language Oscar category may sadly dampen the chances of an aggressive expansion for the hip art house flick.

From this Friday, punters not catching up on all the Oscar fare inevitably coming back to cinemas can look forward to big launches for Park Chan Wook’s first dabble with English language fare with the uber stylish STOKER, Lasse Hallström’s hunky weepy SAFE HAVEN, violent romp HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS and Russell Crowe’s bulbous turn in thriller BROKEN CITY. Also look out for small launches for ingenious found footage horror THE BAY, acclaimed doc/fiction hybrid CAESAR MUST DIE, sophisticated Richard Gere starrer ARBITRAGE, and last but not least, environmental doc TRASHED featuring Jeremy Irons crying by some bins.

PR.

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