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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

U.K. box office: ‘A Christmas Carol’ was back on top last weekend…

…thanks to weak newcomers:

1. A Christmas Carol: £1.5 million
2. Where the Wild Things Are: £.883 million (NEW)
3. Planet 51: £.765 million (2nd week; drops 49%)
4. Paranormal Activity: £.759 million (3rd week; drops 59%)
5. The Twilight Saga: New Moon: £.750 million (4th week; drops 54%)

(actual numbers, not estimates)
It’s not as if it had a lot of competition, but it’s still pretty amazing that in its sixth week of release, A Christmas Carol dropped only seven percent… and that was enough to put it at the top of the ranking, earning almost twice as much as its nearest competitor. So far, Carol has earned more than £16 million in the U.K., which is way better, relatively speaking, than the $124 million it’s taken in in North America so far.

If British audiences aren’t connecting with Where the Wild Things Are, just as North American ones did not, it look like they’re not so crazy about Paranormal Activity, either, despite how well it performed at home. That 59 percent dropoff is gonna be a lot worse next week, probably, particularly with Avatar likely to eat into its target demo. Actually, the Cameron flick will likely deliver a big hit to Carol, too, which will lose most of its 3D theaters to Avatar: 3D is where the bulk of the Jim Carrey toon was seeing its business.

According to Charles Gant at the Guardian’s Film blog, this was the worst weekend of 2009 for the British box office. But that’ll change this weekend with the blue aliens landing…

[numbers via UK Film Council]

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