300 rises to the top spot in the UK
300: Rise of an Empire hits the top spot after making £2,761,612 on its opening weekend. The American action film is a follow up to the 2007 film 300, which follows a fictionalised retelling of the Battle of Salamis, taking place before, during and after. Zack Snyder, who directed and co-wrote the original film, acts as writer and producer on Rise of an Empire. The film centres on Greek general Themistokles as he leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. 300: Rise of an Empire was received to mixed to negative reviews by critics, with Todd Gilchrist of The Wrap, clearly in the latter camp, saying, ‘Rise of an Empire lacks director Snyder’s shrewd deconstruction of cartoon-ish hagiography, undermining the glorious, robust escapism of testosterone-fuelled historical re-enactment with an underdog story that’s almost too reflective to be rousing.’
After four weeks on top, The Lego Movie has finally been knocked off the top spot and resides in second after bringing in £1,633,265 last weekend, and totalling £28,801,707 in the UK to date.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is new in third as it made £1,532,239 on its opening weekend. The film is a American-German co-production financed by German backers and was entirely filmed on location in Germany. The Grand Budapest Hotel stars Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. The film has received critical acclaim with Jason Korsner of UK Screen stating, ‘Every level of this work has been lovingly planned, from the precision of the staccato performances – Ralph Fiennes is particularly effective as the flamboyant but no-nonsense centrepiece – to the intricate production design. Recalling his recent success with Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Anderson somehow directs this film as if it’s an animation – even the characters seem to move around the screen like their own avatars.’
Fourth place sees the second week in the charts for American thriller Non-Stop, which made £1,496,108 last weekend, bringing its gross in the UK to £5,364,237. The film follows an air marshal, played by Liam Neeson, who has to spring into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.
American action comedy Ride Along is in fifth place after two weeks on release, making £823,312 last weekend tallying up £2,832,887 in total in the UK. The film revolves around fast-talking security guard Ben as he joins his cop prospective brother-in-law James on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’ sister.
The Book Thief, an American war drama, made £569,776 last weekend bringing it to sixth place on the box office charts. Based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak, the film is set in World War II Germany and follows the story of a young Liesel as she finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. The Book Thief has made a gross of £2,693,536 in cinema ticket sales in the UK after four weeks on release.
New in seventh is 3D computer animated comedy Escape from Planet Earth which brought in £395,392 last weekend. The film, which was produced by Rainmaker Entertainment and distributed by The Weinstein Company, sees astronaut Scorch Supernova finding himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet. Escape from Planet Earth saw controversy when writer-director Tony Leech and film producer Brian Inerfeld sued The Weinstein Company, claiming they signed a deal whereby they were to receive at least 20 percent of Escape’s adjusted gross profit, which they estimated would be worth close to $50 million in back end participation alone. On February 15, 2013, the same day the film was released, in a document filed in the New York Supreme Court, lawyers for both sides filed a motion of discontinuance in the case, effectively ending it. No details of the settlement were made available but because the motion was filed ‘with prejudice’ both sides would be paying their own legal costs. The film received generally negative reviews with Michael O’Sullivan of The Washington Post saying, ‘Just like its hero and his grounded star ship, Escape from Planet Earth is, for much of the film, a decidedly earthbound adventure.’
Falling to eighth place is computer animated film Mr Peabody and Sherman after five weeks on release. The film made £385,338 last weekend, which contributes to its gross in the UK to date, which stands at £12,091,150.
Academy Award winner 12 Years a Slave remains in ninth place after nine weeks on release and made £368,857 last weekend, grossing £19,177,585 in the UK. The film has received universal acclaim from critics worldwide and won three out of the nine Oscars it was nominated for, one being for Best Motion Picture.
Tinker Bell and The Pirate Fairy is in tenth place on the box office charts, bringing in £318,157 last weekend and after four weeks, a gross of £5,072,228.
Look out for next week: Need for Speed, Under the Skin, and The Zero Theorem.