UK Box Office

The winner: The Accountant

The weekend after Doctor Strange, and two weeks before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the release calendar paused for breath. But, despite the lack of any blockbusters, four movies with individual commercial appeal arrived: The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck; bestseller adaptation A Street Cat Named Bob; period romance The Light Between Oceans, with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander; and Tom Ford’s starry awards contender Nocturnal Animals.

Of these, The Accountant delivered a solid £1.62m from 496 cinemas, including £115,000 in previews. Appropriate comparisons on Affleck’s CV are not obvious, but his own sophomore directing effort The Town might serve best. That 2010 heist thriller began with just over £1m from 321 venues – a similar result, if ticket price inflation is factored in.

All films faced the challenge of Bonfire night falling on a Saturday – usually the busiest day of the week for cinemas.

The Brit flick: A Street Cat Named Bob

A Street Cat Named Bob, adapted from James Bowen’s bestselling memoir, has begun with a decent £986,000 from 440 sites. That’s by far the biggest debut number for a film featuring Luke Treadaway in a lead role, although even his agent would probably concede that it’s the cat that is providing the film’s chief selling point. Treadaway plays Bowen, a former homeless heroin addict who turned his life around after meeting Bob, incorporating him into his work as a busker and Big Issue seller.

Still in the top spot, Doctor Strange took £3.45m at the weekend, boosting the 12-day total to a sturdy £15.73m. Trolls remains in second place, and has now reached £17.19m.

The crossover battle: Nocturnal Animals v The Light Between Oceans

Two films this week effectively straddled the indie-mainstream space. Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans stole a march on its competitor by hitting cinemas on Tuesday, racking up three days of previews before facing competition from Nocturnal Animals. Distributor eOne’s strategy was the wise course: the adaptation of ML Stedman’s novel achieved a handy £280,000 before Nocturnal Animals arrived and boosted the film to a six-day debut of £733,000 from 438 cinemas.

A cast led by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal helped power Tom Ford’s film to an impressive £755,000 from 242 venues, including modest previews of £54,000. Strip out the previews, and Nocturnal Animals achieved a site average of £2,899, which compares well with £1,034 for The Light Between Oceans.

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