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Lucy continues to reign in the UK

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scarlett-johansson-lucyContinuing to lead the UK charts is action sci-fi film Lucy, marking out Scarlett Johansson as a bankable lead, as the film took a respectable £1,972,039 on its second weekend. Johansson plays a woman whose brain becomes extremely powerful after taking a strange new substance while acting as a drug mule and the film was received to positive reviews with particular praise for Johansson’s performance, entertaining or intriguing themes and visuals. After a ten day tally of £8,006,914, and the film potentially looking to cross the £10m mark by the end of next weekend, this makes Lucy the best-ever UK performer for director Luc Besson, topping the £7.1m result of The Fifth Element.

The week’s highest new entry came in the form of American comedy Let’s Be Cops which brought in £1,650,912 from UK cinemas as it charted second. This marks it as director Luke Greenfield’s best-ever UK opener, ahead of The Girl Next Door’s £713,107 and Something Borrowed’s £704,226.92  result. The film stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. as two friends who pretend to be Los Angeles police officers. Let’s Be Cops has been met with generally negative reviews with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes stating, “Wayans, Jr. and Johnson have comedic chemistry; unfortunately, Let’s Be Cops fails to do anything with it.”

Down to third is comedy the Inbetweeners 2, which is still reaping the benefits of the summer holidays by raking in another £1,298,163 on its fourth week on release. The comedy sequel has now grossed £31,011,216 which makes it the third 2014 release to cross the £30m mark in the UK, following The Lego Movie and the summer’s biggest hit, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The film is shaping up to be a good contender with The Lego Movie’s position as the year’s highest grosser with £34.3m.

In contrast, the original The Inbetweeners Movie got as far as £45.03m and the sequel has fallen some way short of that incredible sum, however it is still selling tickets and is worth remarking that £31m is still a phenomenal amount for a relatively low-budget comedy spun off from a British sitcom.

American crime thriller Sin City: A Dame to Kill For expanded from two cinemas to 441 venues bringing in £1,077,370 to mark its second week gross as £1,104,915, however the original Sin City opened in 2005 with £2.45m. The film stars an ensemble cast including returning cast members Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Jaime King, and Powers Boothe. Newcomers to the series include Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie Chung, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, and Juno Temple. The sequel received generally mixed reviews with Alonso Duralde of The Wrap giving the film a negative review, stating, “This is Rodriguez’s second sequel in a row in which he turns sex, violence and exploitation into an occasion for dullness. For a film loaded with decapitations and gun-toting ladies in bondage gear, Sin City gets really tedious really quickly.”

Slipping down to fifth place is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy after bringing in £1,027,274 on its fifth week on release. It has grossed £24,500,496 so far in the UK alone. The film has become the fourteenth movie of 2014 to make over $300 million (£182,296,572) worldwide, which it did in 10 days. Also, it has become a critical and financial success, having grossed over $554 million (£336,522,408.18) worldwide. A sequel has been announced and is scheduled to be released on July 28, 2017.

Our second new entry is American romantic drama If I Stay which entered the charts at sixth after making £505,704 on its opening weekend. This is significantly behind the pace of its US debut the week before where it made $15.7m, a UK equivalent of around £9,525,805.49. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman and stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Stacy Keach, and Aisha Hinds. The story follows 17-year-old Mia Hall (Moretz) as she deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic car accident involving her family. In a coma, Mia has an out-of-body experience, and watches as friends and family gather at the hospital where she is being treated. Mia watches as her memories flash before her eyes as she comes to realise that she must decide if she should wake up and lead a life far more difficult than she ever anticipated, or slip away and die. It has received positive reviews with A.O. Scott praising Moretz’s acting in his review for The New York Times, and also stating, “music is both the best and the corniest part of If I Stay, which makes excellent use of the classical cello repertoire.”

It’s been an amazing ten weeks for animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2, which re-entered the charts at seven with £427,724. It has grossed £23,650,066 in the UK to date.

Our last new entry is American found footage horror As Above, So Below which brought in £398,787 on its opening weekend and marks the lowest UK debut for director John Erick Dowdle, below Quarantine’s £411,457. The plot follows a team of explorers who venture into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris and as they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. As Above, So Below recieved negative reviews from critics with Simon Abrams of rogerebert.com stating, “The makers of ‘As Above, So Below’ earn points for trying to make their film look different than the preponderance of found-footage junk. But their distinctive, impressionistic camera-work is also head-splittingly alienating. Even viewers with cast-iron stomachs will want a barf-bag, a bottle of Dasani, and a strong shoulder to rest their head on just to prevent early on-set car-sickness.”

Falling four places to ninth place is disaster film Into the Storm, which on its second week on release gathered £374,533 to make its total so far as £2,311,031.

Rounding off the top ten is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which made £361,132 on its seventh week on release to make a gross of £31,987,494. With the summer season officially ending on 31 August, Apes managed to resist the late challenge of The Inbetweeners 2, winning the crown as top title of the summer at the UK box office. Distributor 20th Century Fox will also be smiling at the news since predecessor Rise of the Planet of the Apes maxed out at £20.77m, so the sequel is more than 50% ahead of that tally, and is still in cinemas.

Next week sees the exciting new releases of Cameron Diaz-Jason Segel comedy Sex Tape, amnesia-themed thriller Before I Go to Sleep, adapted from the SJ Watson bestseller, thriller The Guest, The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, and romcom spoof They Came Together.

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