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Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles grab the UK top spot

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Screen-shot-2014-08-06-at-12.26.28-PM-620x400Knocking Gone Girl off the top spot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted with an impressive £4,785,448 making it the biggest opening for a film since The Inbetweeners 2 in early August.

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

The film was announced shortly before Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird sold the rights to the franchise to Nickelodeon in 2009.

It received generally negative reviews with critics commenting on the unoriginal plot and characters, acting performances and pacing; however it was a box office success, grossing over $375 million worldwide so far, tripling its budget, and becoming Nickelodeon Movies’ highest grossing film.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus states, “Neither entertaining enough to recommend nor remarkably awful, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may bear the distinction of being the dullest movie ever made about talking bipedal reptiles.”

A sequel is scheduled to be released on June 3, 2016.

Struck down to second place is thriller Gone Girl which still brought in an impressive £2,361,051 on its third weekend on release.

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.

The film has made £14,153,879 in the UK to date.

Down to third place on its second week is supernatural horror Annabelle, which despite receiving scathing reviews from critics still brought in £1,465,919 last weekend.

It is a prequel and spin off from The Conjuring and follows a couple, who begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

In fourth place is dystopian film The Maze Runner, based on James Dashner’s 2009 young adult novel of the same name, which made £1,458,300 last weekend. 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.

The story follows Thomas (O’Brien) who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is, only to learn he has been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a slew of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth—all while establishing a functioning society in what they call The Glade.

New entry in fifth place is the ninth film to be adapted from a Nicholas Sparks book, The Best of Me, which debuted to £636,842. That’s down on the last Sparks film, Safe Haven, which began in March last year with £812,000, and before that, The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron, which started its run with £1.2m.

The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as a pair of former high school sweethearts who reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown.

It has been received negatively by critics with Tim Robey of The Telegraph stating, “the whole Sparks brand is sagging under the weight of its more-is-more philosophy – with abusive redneck dads, heartless husbands, crossfire manslaughter and child leukaemia all in the mix, this throws in everything but the kitchen sink. And it certainly doesn’t stint on the kitsch.”

Stop motion animation The Boxtrolls moves up to sixth place with £464,345 and grossing £7,374,623 after six weeks on the charts.

Seventh place sees dark action fantasy Dracula Untold make £438,037 last weekend, making its total in the UK as £4,454,648 on its third week and eighth place sees Denzel Washington’s thriller The Equalizer falling two places after bringing in  £429,406 taking its total in the UK to £6,370,768 from cinema ticket sales.

New entry in ninth place is family drama The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, which debuted with £420,720 last weekend in the UK.

The plot follows a big city lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) as he returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

It received mixed reviews with critics praising the performances of Downey and Duvall but criticising the formulaic nature of its script and the lack of development for its supporting characters.

Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent states, “The Judge is not a film that will ever wrong-foot viewers or confound their expectations. Its pleasures lie instead in the central performances. The wonder is that Downey Jr and Duvall are able to work so well together without trying to steal each other’s thunder.”

Rounding off the top ten is British indie Northern Soul, which has astounded the film industry with a sensational result at the weekend with £278,829 despite being turned down by countless UK distributors and presented to cinema audiences without benefit of a UK film festival platform.

Despite being now available on DVD, more than 30 cinemas are holding Northern Soul this coming weekend, with 40 fresh sites also booking the title.

The film is set in 1974 and is an authentic and uplifting tale of two friends whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music.

Next week’s new releases sees an array of genre and variety of films with animation film The Book of Life, from producer Guillermo del Toro; Brad Pitt in a WWII tank in Fury; romantic drama Love, Rosie, adapted from a Cecelia Ahern novel; horror The Babadook; Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence together once more in period romantic melodrama Serena; and Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is By My Side.

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