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Turbo to the top in the UK

Speeding to the top spot is 3D animated sports film Turbo which made an impressive £3,892,774 in its opening weekend. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, which also made films such as The Shrek franchise and the Madagascar trilogy, Turbo was based on an original idea by David Soren who also directed it. The film follows the story of an ordinary garden snail whose dream to become the fastest snail in the world comes true. A star-studded cast voice the characters including Ryan Reynolds, who plays Theo aka Turbo, Snoop Dogg, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez and Samuel L. Jackson.  The film received mixed to positive reviews with David Fear of Time Out New York saying, “All Turbo does is give Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg the easiest paychecks they’ll ever make, and its corporate overlords the chance to sell a few toys.” However in comparison, Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying “Co-writer/director David Soren’s story offers little that even the average 6-year-old couldn’t imagine, though the film’s considerable charm comes through via its characters and sense of humour.” Turbo was the third lowest all-time opening for DreamWorks computer-animated film, as the domestic performance was a disappointment for DreamWorks as their estimation was for their films to reach the $150-$200 million mark, however Turbo only managed $21,312,625. Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation’s CEO, attributed less than expected gross to the bad date, to the over saturated marketplace, having in the summer of 2013 100% more animated films than before, and to “the difficulty of breaking through the clutter with an original title.” The film will be followed by a television show, airing on Netflix, called Turbo: F.A.S.T (Fast Action Stunt Team) in December 2013.

Directed by Paul Greengrass, American action-thriller Captain Phillips follows closely in second place with £3,483,981 in its opening weekend. The film is the true story of mariner Captain Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean during the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009 led by Abduwali Muse, played by Barkhad Abdi. Captain Phillips premiered at the opening of 2013 New York Film Festival and the 2013 London Film Festival. The film was praised for its direction, screenplay, production values, cinematography, and the performances of Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. Jason Korsner of UK Screen reviewed the film and states, ‘Greengrass pulls out the big guns, slowly ratcheting up the tension, scene by scene, and just as you think it can’t get any more exciting – or any more terrifying – he finds yet another gear to step it up to.’ However the film has been criticised for its inaccuracy with an article in the New York Post stating that crew members of Phillips accused the film of being grossly inaccurate in facts and the portrayal of Phillips. In an interview with CNN, Mike Perry, the Chief Engineer of the Maersk Alabama, he claimed the film does not tell the true story. He asserted that it was Phillips’ recklessness that put the ship in pirate-patrolled waters. Another Maersk Engineer, John Cronan, also stated that Phillips ignored warnings and set a course through the waters to shorten their trip to save money.

In third place making £961,470 on its opening weekend is Escape Plan, which is an American action thriller starring heavyweights Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film follows the story of Ray Breslin, played by Stallone, a structural engineer who is incarcerated in the world’s most secret and secure prison, and meets his cellmate Emil Rottmayer, played by Schwarzenegger, who aided his escape. Escape Plan was received to mixed reviews with Tom Huddleston of Time Out London commenting that the film “would have made a perfect vehicle for, say, a Chuck Norris or even a Jean-Claude Van Damme. But these two redoubtable, enormously watchable old-school heroes deserve better.”

After three weeks at the top, Prisoners is now down to fourth place in its fourth week on release. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal the film has made £6,163,940 in the UK, with £571,028 coming from last weekend.

British Musical film Sunshine on Leith is down to fifth place after making £469,898 last weekend.  The film follows the story of two men, who try to readjust to life after serving in Afghanistan also featuring thirteen songs by The Proclaimers. Sunshine on Leith has made a total of £3,219,089 after three weeks in the box office.

Down to sixth place is Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine after grossing £365,436 last weekend and making a total of £4,095,540 after four weeks on release in the UK. The film follows a wealthy New York socialite who goes to stay with her sister in San Francisco after losing her money and becoming homeless.

Crime drama Filth, based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name, centres on a bigoted and corrupt cop as he schemes and manipulates his way through festival season in a bid to secure a promotion and win his wife and daughter back. At seventh place, the film made £343,299 last weekend and after being released in Scotland first and then the UK, has grossed £3,276,755.

After six weeks on release, Formula One film Rush is at eighth place making £280,960 and grossing a total of £9,471,158. The film follows James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the years of their rivalry.

New in at ninth place is Bollywood action film Boss, directed by Anthony D’Souza, which is about a man fighting for people’s rights. The film has made a total of £235,086 in the UK. Boss entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest poster after beating Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The poster, 58.87 metres wide and 54.94 metres high was unveiled at Little Gransden Airfield, UK, on 3 October 2013.

Lastly in tenth place, on its second week on release, is Le-Weekend. The film, which is directed by Roger Michell and written by Hanif Kureishi, grossed £767,610 in the UK. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Le-Weekend made a total of £208,759.

One of the more high-profile releases of the weekend, Enough Said, could manage only twelfth  on the box office chart. The romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and James Gandolfini, in one of his final screen roles before his premature death, took just £170,357 in its opening weekend, despite largely positive reviews.

Look out for next week: Closed Circuit, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, One Chance and Ender’s Game.

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