UK Box Office


Pushing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire aside after its two weeks at the top spot, Disney’s Frozen opened with £4.70m. That’s by no means the top number for an animation this year – Despicable Me 2 debut gathered £14.82m, including £4.87m in previews in June – but it’s a solid start for a film presumed to play to the Christmas audience. Family films targeting the Christmas market have a knack of playing strongly right through until Christmas Eve, and if the festive association is not too strong can, continue to play beyond that date.

Two years ago, Aardman‘s Arthur Christmas debuted with a so-so £2.11m, but by Christmas Day had managed £19.66m, and eventually reached £20.84m. (A re-release a year later pushed it to £21.08m.) Last year, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians kicked off with £1.97m, and went on to achieve £12.49m – hardly a stunning result, but nevertheless more than six times the opening.

The success of Frozen contrasts with rival animation Free Birds, which fell by 70% from the previous weekend, the biggest drop of any film in the top 10.

The runner-up

Down 51% from the previous weekend, Catching Fire has now taken £26.36m in 18 days. That puts it just behind The Croods as the seventh biggest hit of 2013. It’s already ahead of the lifetime UK total for the original The Hunger Games (£24m), and should manage a few more million pounds before its run concludes. But bearing in mind that the opening for Catching Fire was more than double the equivalent number for The Hunger Games, the respective cumulative totals will not reflect such a wide disparity.

With £24.6m so far, Gravity is now the 10th biggest hit of 2013. Next in its sights: Fast & Furious 6 (£25.1m) and Star Trek Into Darkness (£25.5m).

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