UK Box Office


While this summer’s box-office doldrums have been partly blamed on a relative lack of big family titles, the scarcity has certainly been good news for Laika’s The Boxtrolls, which retains the UK crown for a second week, thanks to a week-on-week rise of 2%. After 12 days of play, the stop-frame animation has grossed a handy £3.62m. Laika’s previous effort, ParaNorman, stood at a slightly softer £2.95m at the same stage of its run, while 2009’s Coraline had reached a sturdier £4.21m at this point.

Thanks to some surprisingly hostile reviews from the international trade press, The Boxtrolls’ Metacritic score currently stands at a lowly 51/100. The Rotten Tomatoes rating of 71% fresh includes positive reviews from the Observer, Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times, Radio Times and Little White Lies, none of which were surveyed by Metacritic.

The Boxtrolls
Monster hit … Laika’s The Boxtrolls has topped the UK box-office chart for the second week in a row. Photograph: PR

The Boxtrolls sits atop one of the charts showing the least disparity – in terms of weekend box-office takings – we’ve seen for a while. Its £1.33m weekend gross is only 4.35 times the tally for 10th-placed Before I Go to Sleep. As recently as early August, we witnessed a box-office chart with the top film (The Inbetweeners 2) delivering weekend takings that were 72 times those for the title in 10th place.

The runner-up

Landing just below The Boxtrolls with £1.32m, A Walk Among the Tombstones extends the proposition for Liam Neeson as a dynamic man of action. The 1999-set crime thriller, based on the Laurence Block novel series, performed less well than recent Neeson actioner Non-Stop (debut of £2.65m), although that Joel Silver production benefited from a higher concept and a more mainstream positioning. Another comparison might be the grittier The Grey, which kicked off with £1.09m in January 2012.

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