UK Box Office

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Mr and myth … Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Photograph: David Appleby

For the second time in its four-week run, Wreck-It Ralph has been forced to yield the top spot to a film it actually out-grossed over the weekend period. Thanks to preview takings on Wednesday and Thursday, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters sits in pole position in the official UK box-office chart, with five-day grosses of £1.50m. Strip out the previews, and the tally falls to a less-lofty £1.10m. The last time this happened was two weeks ago, when previews for A Good Day to Die Hard earned the action flick the top position, despite lower takings than Wreck-It over the actual weekend period.

With the half-term holiday ending the previous weekend, Wreck-It Ralph fell by a predictably hefty 59%, but Disney will be more than happy with a 24-day total of £20.43m. The animation is the second 2013 release to crack £20m here, following Les Misérables. At the same stage of the year, no 2012 release had reached £20m, although The Woman in Black and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had both started runs that eventually took them past the benchmark.

Wreck-It Ralph is nearly dead level with the UK lifetime total of Tangled (£20.47m). The only non-Pixar Disney animation to achieve a higher tally here is The Lion King, with £23.14m (or £35.51m including the 3D 2011 re-release). Hansel & Gretel’s opening salvo is behind the pace set across the Atlantic. Its US opening of $19.7m suggested a UK debut just shy of £2m, higher than the actual achieved result.

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