Friday 15 November 2019

Marigold dominates Fifty Shades

Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith at the premiere of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Leicester Square
Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith at the premiere of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Leicester Square

Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith have more pulling power than Christian Grey's saucy bedroom antics after The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel knocked Fifty Shades Of Grey off the top spot at the UK box office.

John Madden's comedy drama sequel, which also stars Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie and Richard Gere, proved the grey pound is stronger than ever as the film opened at number one in the UK, with takings of around £3.74 million, including £700,000 in previews.

Fifty Shades - Sam Taylor-Johnson's big-screen adaptation of EL James's erotic novel, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson - dropped to second place with sales of £2.24 million, with Will Smith's conman caper Focus taking third spot in its opening weekend with about £1.9 million, according to figures by Screen Daily.

While The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel's strong debut surpassed its predecessor, with £2.2 million on its opening weekend, it proved no match for Fifty Shades, which broke UK box office records with a £13.5 million opening in February.

In the US, Focus dominated Fifty Shades. Box office takings for the former were estimated at 19.1 million US dollars (£12.4 million), overtaking the latter's £7.66 million.

Colin Firth's spy action thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service took second place, followed The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, Fifty Shades and The Lazarus Effect in the top five.

Fifty Shades star Dornan will star in Second World War drama Anthropoid, about the attempted assassination of high-ranking Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SS who was one of the main architects of the Holocaust.

The 32-year-old actor from Northern Ireland will join Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy in the thriller, which will be directed by Sean Ellis.

Oscar and Bafta-nominated film-maker Ellis said: "I feel incredibly proud to bring the story of Anthropoid to the big screen.

"I have been fascinated by the story for the last 14 years and find it immensely humbling to explore the bravery of the men and women of the Czech resistance who sacrificed themselves for the freedom of their country while dealing a blow into the heart of Nazi Germany."

PA Media

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