UK Box Office

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Following its sensational debut the previous weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had no problem hanging on to the top spot, with a gross (£5.53m) more than triple its nearest rival, Gravity, with £1.74m. The drop for Catching Fire – down 46% – will be considered respectable, given the huge anticipation for the film, which saw fans rush to see it on opening weekend. The original Hunger Games fell only 33% in its second frame, but declining revenue curves for sequels are invariably steeper. Last November, the final Twilight dropped 66% in its second session.

After 11 days, Catching Fire has reached an impressive £21.7m in the UK, which is only two million behind the lifetime tally for The Hunger Games (£23.8m). Catching Fire is already the 11th biggest hit of 2013, behind Despicable Me 2, Les Misérables, Iron Man 3, Monsters University, Man of Steel , The Croods, Star Trek into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, Wreck-It Ralph and Gravity. It is highly likely to overtake all but the first three of those titles, although it faces one more massive competitor before year’s end: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

With £22.5m so far, Gravity is the biggest live-action hit of the year that isn’t a sequel or based on existing characters. Animation The Croods remains the biggest original film of 2013 overall.

The new arrivals

With top honours among new entrants going to animation Free Birds, Saving Mr Banks landed in fourth place with a so-so £792,000 from a broad 465 sites. That’s probably a disappointment for backers Disney, although it was always tough to position a feature about the making of a famous family film (Mary Poppins) that never appeared to have much appeal to the family audience. Both lead actors – Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks – are in their 50s, and the film is about a battle of wits between a crotchety author and a Hollywood mogul.

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