Magazine article Screen International

Hobbit and Impossible Go Head-to-Head at UK Box Office

Magazine article Screen International

Hobbit and Impossible Go Head-to-Head at UK Box Office

Article excerpt

Based on estimates, The Hobbit has narrowly retained its UK box office crown ahead of The Impossible's impressive $6.5m (£4m) debut, including previews.

With only around $80,000 (£50,000) between them, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey appears to have held onto its UK box office crown for a fourth consecutive week ahead of impressive newcomer The Impossible.

Warner Bros.' fantasy epic journeyed to a further estimated $6.5m (£4.1m) for a strong $72.3m (£44.9m) to date. Should it retain top spot when official figures are released, The Hobbit will become the first film since The Inbetweeners Movie to go four weeks at the top of the UK box office. Skyfall achieved four weeks at number one, but its fourth week at number one came after The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had enjoyed two weeks at the chart's summit.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is currently tracking ahead of the best performer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Fellowship of the Ring, which stood at $70.3m (£43.7m) after its fourth weekend. However, both The Two Towers ($73.9m/£46m) and Return of the King ($79.5m/£49.5m) were ahead of Fellowship after their fourth weekend in play.

Following its release on New Year's Day, eOne's The Impossible enjoyed an excellent start to its UK run, debuting with $6.4m (£4m) including previews.

That result is already ahead of the overall gross of director JA Bayona's The Orphanage in the UK ($2.8m/£1.8m) which received a smaller release. Even if it doesn't make up the £50,000 difference, eOne will be mightily pleased with the tsunami-set drama's opening that continues their strong 2012 run at the box office, which saw them end the year as the UK's leading independent distributor [see separate story here].

Continuing its superb run at the UK box office, despite dropping a place to third, was Fox's awards contender Life of Pi. …

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