New films dominate the chart for the New Year and reinforce dramas as big money spinners
There’s no doubt that two films have lead the pack this January, and perhaps surprisingly they’re both heavily character and drama based, totaling almost five and a half hours in running length between them.
The Wolf of Wall Street is the biggest culprit, with a three hour mix of comedy, drama, biography and crime to create an undoubtedly long, but easily watchable film about sex, drugs, fraud and excess. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, has earnt over £11 million in its two weeks in UK cinemas – an incredible achievement that has contributed to it already globally surpassing the acclaimed director’s previous biggest hit: 2010’s Shutter Island. This, along with high praise from film critics (FilmAttic review), means the continuing collaboration between Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio is likely to continue onto other intriguing projects.
The second big hitter was American Hustle (FilmAttic review), and with a great draw cast including Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper, the film was always going to find a large fan base. But the follow up to director and writer, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook has taken over £11 million in its four weeks of UK wide release, and shows once again that audiences are interested in intelligent and slow paced characters and story lines.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the same with many of the recent small-scale dramas, as seen with the release last week of both August Osage County and Inside Llewyn Davis. We don’t yet have full details of how wide these releases were, but August Osage County made far less than £600,000 despite having big star names in Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor. Inside Llewyn Davis did slightly better with just less than £800,000, despite lacking a big name star in the lead with Oscar Isaac. The Coen Brothers film about a struggling folk singer in New York looked likely to appeal to music fans, and we’re hoping that both films generate more of a buzz before the new releases in February push them out the UK Top Ten.
The other winner of the month has been the elderly version of The Hangover, Last Vegas. With Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline, the film could be seen as recreating the success of Red (which also starred Morgan Freeman) but with fewer guns and spies and more gambling and drinks. In its four week run in the UK, Last Vegas has already taken over £6 million, which is impressive considering the stiff competition.
Next month has a lot in store, why not check out our run down of February’s new releases and tell us what you’ve loved, hated, and can’t wait to see next.Click here to view the latest Box Office Table