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12 Years a Slave to top spot in UK

Straight to the top spot is British-American epic historical drama film, 12 Years a Slave which made £2,511,349 on its opening weekend. The film is an adaptation of the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. Directed by Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave was nominated for seven Golden Globes, however only won one for Best Motion Picture (Drama). 12 Years a Slave received universal acclaim by critics and audiences, for its acting (particularly for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong’o), Steve McQueen’s direction, screenplay, production values, and its faithfulness to Solomon Northup’s account. Jason Korsner of UK Screen states, ‘Solomon Northup’s story is powerful and heart-breaking – but while it purports to be a comment on history, it’s little more than a painfully raw snapshot of a terrible time that has scarred the US.’

Beaten to second place is America Hustle, which brought in £1,938,805 last weekend in the UK. The film, in which Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner star, follows  two con artists who are  forced to work with a FBI agent to set up corrupt politicians such as the mayor of Camden, New Jersey. American Hustle won three Golden Globes including, Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Performance by an Actress (Amy Adams) and Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). The film has totalled £6,779,242 in the UK.

Only falling to third after five weeks on release is the latest part of the adaption of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, second in the trilogy The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The film made another impressive £1,504,554 in cinema sales, bringing its gross in the UK to £40,099,644.

In fourth place is computer animated film, Frozen, which in its sixth week has tallied up £1,314,153 in the UK. The film has grossed £32,756,029 and grabbed a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

Last Vegas has made £1,293,299 in its second weekend on release, totalling £4,014,308 in the UK and bringing it into fifth place. The film follows four best friends, in their late sixties, played by Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline, who decide to have a stag party in Las Vegas.

In at sixth is war film The Railway Man, which stars Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Hiroyuki Sanada and Jeremy Irvine. The film, which surrounds a victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” sets out to find those responsible for his torture, made £1,230,483 on its opening weekend. The Railway Man received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with Mark Kermode of The Observer stating, ‘It’s not a match made in heaven; while the latterday segments make specific reference to Brief Encounter as railroad love blossoms between Eric and Patti , the Thailand sequences have an oddly televisual air that somewhat undercuts their dramatic clout.’

American comedy-drama film Delivery Man is a remake of Ken Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film Starbuck and grossed £1,102,433 on its opening weekend. The film, that has reached seventh place, revolves around an affable underachiever who finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Delivery Man received mixed reviews with Alonso Duralde of The Wrap stating that, ‘Delivery Man offers comedy and sentimentality in equal doses and, unfortunately, equal efficacy—the jokes, the characters and the situations aren’t very funny, and the would-be heart-tuggery is mostly embarrassing.’

Second week on cinema release and down to eighth place is biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which chronicles Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The film made £783,624 last weekend and a total of £3,051,109 in the UK. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture (Ordinary Love by U2).

In ninth place is American Comedy, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues after four weeks in the box office charts and making £755,719. The film, which stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Christina Applegate, has grossed £13,496,950 in the UK.

Second week in the charts for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones which is down to tenth place and made £502,235 last weekend, totalling £2,576,101. The film is a spinoff of the Paranormal Activity horror film franchise and is the first to be made of ‘found footage’ and follows Jessie as he begins experiencing a number of disturbing and unexplainable things after the death of his neighbour.

Look out for next week:  Crystal Fairy, The Wolf of Wall Street and Devils Due.

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