UK Box Office

Resisting the challenge of horny Robert De Niro and naked Zac Efron in Dirty Grandpa, Leonardo DiCaprio and the bear win it for a third week in a row, with third-weekend box-office figures of £2.28m. The Revenant’s total after 17 days is a spiffy £16.09m. That compares with £14.96m for DiCaprio’s last film, The Wolf of Wall Street, at the same stage of its run, putting The Revenant 8% ahead of the pace of the Scorsese hit. The Revenant is also mounting a challenge to The Martian in the competition to be the top grosser in the UK among this year’s eight best-picture Oscar nominees.

The Ridley Scott space-travel film had reached £17.49m after three weekends, although that number includes one extra day of play due to the film’s previews strategy. The Wolf of Wall Street reached £22.7m in the UK, and The Martian stands at £23.5m currently. Distributor Fox would presumably be delighted to push The Revenant close to either number. The Revenant’s three-week run continues a rare sustained period of stability at the top of the UK box office, following runs of three or four weeks for Spectre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the previous period of equivalent length – 14 weeks – 10 different films (Inside Out, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Fantastic Four, Pixels, Paper Towns, Straight Outta Compton, Legend, Everest, The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2) occupied the top spot.

The runner-up: Dirty Grandpa

Reviews were pretty discouraging – check out the 18/100 score at MetaCritic – butDirty Grandpa defied the critical mauling to post a £2.05m opening, including £605,000 in previews. The red band trailer promised ample Daytona Beach hedonism, including the sight of Zac Efron smoking crack cocaine and dancing the Macarena wearing only a stuffed animal toy taped to his genitals, and Robert De Niro trading lascivious banter with Aubrey Plaza. Evidently, the clips engaged the target audience. Discounting previews, The Dirty Grandpa number is very close to the debut for director Dan Mazer’s previous film, I Give It a Year (£1.44m). It’s well ahead of Efron’s previous outing, We Are Your Friends (£261,000 from 370 cinemas, including £51,000 in previews) – clearly, audiences were not wildly excited to see Zac Efron as an EDM DJ in a romantic drama. Efron’s biggest UK opening remains Bad Neighbours, which debuted with £8.45m, including hefty previews of £5.16m. High School Musical 3 opened in 2008 with £8.41m, including £2.46m in previews.

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