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Fury at the UK top spot

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Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 00.41.20Brad Pitt’s WW2 film Fury hit the top spot last weekend by pulling in £2,692,786 over three days plus previews.

For a film that is relatively straight forward, a plot not based on a real life event or a must see hook, it has generated a lot of praise with the box office revenue showing Pitt may still have a pull with the audiences, plus his red-carpet appearance at the London film festival would have helped.

The figure is a little over half of Pitt’s biggest UK opening weekend to date  which was delivered last year by World War Z, with £4.54m.

Fury is an American war film set during World War II, which stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood. It is written and directed by David Ayer, best known for being the writer of Training Day.

The film was received positively by critics with many praising its visual style, Ayer’s script and direction, and the performances of its cast (particularly Pitt, LaBeouf, and Lerman). Jason Korsner of UK Screen states, “Fury is much more of a leave-your-brain-at-the-door-type action film than it is a deep meditation on the effects of warfare, making it enjoyable, but the entertainment will be short-lasting.”

After being kicked off the top spot on its second weekend on release, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still managed a decent £1,927,733.

The film is a reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series and is based on the franchise of the same name, starring Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Alan Ritchson, Danny Woodburn, Tony Shalhoub, William Fichtner and Will Arnett.

It received generally negative reviews with critics commenting on the unoriginal plot and characters, acting performances and pacing. It has made a total of £7,890,052 so far in the UK.

Despite the poor reviews, the strong box office performance means a sequel is scheduled for release on June 3, 2016.

Down to third place is thriller Gone Girl, which took £1,597,962 over the weekend, bringing its total to £17,064,765 after four weeks on release. As an 18-certificate film it is sixth place in the all-time UK chart for 18 –cert films, behind The Silence of the Lambs (£17.12m), leaving it behind just The Wolf of Wall Street (£22.70m), Hannibal (£21.58m), American Beauty (£21.39m) and Seven (£19.52m).

Adapted by Gillian Flynn, who wrote the 2012 novel of the same name, it stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Carrie Coon and the plot unfolds with a man (Affleck) seeing the spotlight turned on him when his wife’s (Pike) disappearance becomes the focus of an intense media circus and it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

New entry in fourth place is American 3D computer-animated musical comedy The Book of Life that debuted with £981,432 last weekend.

The film features the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum with supporting roles by Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate del Castillo.

The story follows Manolo (Luna), a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, as he embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.

It has received mostly positive reviews from critics, with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes stating, “The Book of Life ’​s gorgeous animation is a treat, but it’s a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide.”

In fifth place is dystopian film The Maze Runner, based on James Dashner’s 2009 young adult novel, which took £905,314 last weekend bringing its gross after three weeks to £5,863,858.

It is the first instalment in The Maze Runner film series and stars Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Will Poulter.

Prequel and spin off from The Conjuring, supernatural horror Annabelle made £749,621 last weekend.

The plot follows a couple, who begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists and has grossed £6,013,797 after three weeks on the charts.

Seventh place sees Walt Disney’s comedy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day enter the charts with £697,680.

The film is based on Judith Viorst’s 1972 children’s book and stars Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, and Ed Oxenbould.

The story follows Alexander’s day which begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mother, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It was received negatively by critics, with Kyle Smith of the New York Post stating, “Can a series of irritating events make a movie? Yes, but an irritating one: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

New in eighth place is Indian caper comedy Happy New Year has taken £568,203 on its opening weekend.

The film has an ensemble cast which includes Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood and Jackie Shroff.

It centres upon a team of losers as they win the love of millions in their quest to pull off the biggest diamond heist ever by team India.

It received mixed reviews from critics with Andy Webster of New York Times stating, “Shah Rukh Khan’s seasoned authority is a steady anchor amid the frantic contrivances, while nationalistic biases (a North Korean team is the principal rival) are somewhat offset by a playful attitude toward gender: Charlie (Mr. Khan) calls his troupe Charlie’s Angels.”

Irish romantic comedy Love, Rosie hits low at ninth place, making £482,535 on its opening weekend in the UK.

It stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone and Art Parkinson and is based on the 2004 novel Where Rainbows End by Irish author Cecelia Ahern.

The plot follows Rosie and Alex who have been best friends since they were 5 and when it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.

Love, Rosie received generally negative reviews with Mark Kermode of The Observer stating, “It’s not entirely unlikable, but there’s nothing here to match the charm of the movies this imitates, nor justify the mood swings that it signally fails to negotiate.”

Rounding of the top ten, is Australian horror The Babadook, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, which debuted to £347,512 in the UK.

The story follows a single mother, who is plagued by her husband’s violent death, battles with her sons’ fear of a monster in the house, which may not just be a fear.

It was shown at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, with many critics praising the departure from jump scares and gore in recent cinema.

Dan Schindel from Movie Mezzanine states, “The Babadook is the best genre creature creation since the big black wolf-dog aliens from Attack the Block.”

Falling short last week was the third collaborative film for Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as Depression-era drama Serena made on £95,109 entering it at nineteenth place.  Which is disappointing compared with the pairs previous two films, Silver Linings Playbook, which debuted in November 2012 with £1.25m and American Hustle with £3.47m.

Friday sees the arrival of pulse pounding thriller Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal; supernatural horror Ouija; Daniel Radcliffe’s dark fantasy Horns and Mike Leigh’s biographical drama, Mr Turner.

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