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Straight to the top for Catching Fire in the UK

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire flies right to the top spot after making an impressive £12,189,733 on its opening weekend in the UK. The film is the second instalment of the Hunger Games film series. It was the third biggest opening of 2013 in the UK after fellow sequels Despicable Me 2 (£14.8 million) and Iron Man 3 (£13.7 million).  Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen along with Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson who also reprise their roles. Catching Fire follows Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) as they become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. The film was premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London, on 11th November. The film was also shown in the 4DX format in selected international territories. It features motion-enhanced seating, wind, water sprays, strobe lightning, and scent-based special effects. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has doubled its estimated budget of £135,000,000 (£82,457,854.87) by bringing in a worldwide total of $304,674,286 (£186,094,726.36). The film received broad acclaim from critics with Rotten Tomatoes consensus stating, ‘Smart, smoothly directed, and enriched with a deeper exploration of the franchise’s thought-provoking themes.’

Science fiction thriller, Gravity, has slipped down to second place, after making £2,389,193 in its third week at the box office. Universal acclaim has come from critics and audiences, directing the praise towards Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography, Steven Price’s musical score, and Cuarón’s direction. With Sandra Bullock and George Clooney starring, the film that follows two astronauts who survive the mid-orbit destruction of a Space Shuttle and attempt to return to Earth, has made a total of £19,444,886 in the UK.

British science fiction television programme Doctor Who’s 799th episode is Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor was a live-simulcast which made it to fourth in the box office and marks its fiftieth anniversary. It was shown on BBC One on 23 November 2013, in both 2D and 3D and shown concurrently in 3D in some cinemas. It achieved the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama. The episode starred Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Jenna Coleman as his companion, Clara Oswald. Previous lead actors David Tennant and Billie Piper returned for the episode, with Tennant reprising his role as the Tenth Doctor. The episode shows the last day of the Time War, in which the Doctor has to choose between killing both Daleks and his own race of Time Lords rather than allow an alien invasion. Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor made £1,798,629 in the UK and received instant positive reviews with Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph stating, ‘charming, eccentric and very, very British.’

Sequel to Thor, Thor: Dark World is in fourth position, holding a gross of £18,456,032 after four weeks on release. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film follows the story of Thor, who must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. Thor: Dark World made £722,811 last weekend in cinemas.

Fifth place goes to The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker, the American historical drama revolving around an African-American man (Whitaker) who witnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler. The Butler has made a total of £2,032,072 in the UK, with £613,877 coming from last weekend’s takings.

Four weeks in the box office for British film Philomena about the story of a world-weary political journalist as he picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. The film that stars Steve Coogan and Judi Dench made £541,068 and has grossed £8,866,771 in the UK taking it to sixth place.

American computer animated comic science fiction film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is in at seventh after making £474, 178 last weekend. The story follows Flint Lockwood, who now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. He is forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids. The film is the sequel to the 2009 film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which was loosely based on the book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett; however Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was based on an original idea and not the Barrett’s follow up book, Pickles to Pittsburgh. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 has made a total of £11,547,869.

The Family, English/French action comedy, is in eighth place after making £444,657 in its opening weekend. The film stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, and Dianna Agron as a Mafia family that go into a witness protection programme to help change their lives. The Family was received to generally negative reviews with Jason Korsner of UK Screen stating, ‘All of the actors here are capable of much better – and they all seem to be acting in different films – Fred is in a gangster thriller, Warren is in a high-school comedy, Belle is in a high-school melodrama, Maggie seems to be flitting around between all of the above, while Tommy Lee Jones’ FBI agent doesn’t seem to want to be in any of them.’

In ninth position is Andre Rieu: Home for Christmas 2013 which shows the Dutch violinist and conductor’s impressive show and made £290,173

Lastly, in tenth place after an impressive six weeks in the box office charts is 3D animated sports film, Turbo which had made £11,217,779 so far in total. A remarkable cast voice the characters including Ryan Reynolds, who voices Theo aka Turbo, Snoop Dogg, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez and Samuel L. Jackson.  Turbo made £254,821 last weekend.

Look out next week for: Carrie, Jeune & Jolie, Saving Mr. Banks and Saving Santa.

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