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Rambo misses out on UK top spot as Odeon blamed

Sylvester Stallone in Rambo

Story by Jack Foley

SYLVESTER Stallone’s fourth Rambo outing has failed to make it to the top of the UK box office – and Britain’s largest cinema chain has taken most of the blame.

The film debuted at No.3 in the UK chart with £1.27 million in its opening weekend, but was beaten by sci-fi action flick Jumper (currently in its second week of release) and Jack Black comedy Be Kind Rewind.

But industry figures attributed the film’s performance to Odeon’s decision not to screen the film in any of its cinemas owing to a dispute between themselves and distributor, Sony Pictures.

Odeon issued a statement on Friday saying that it wouldn’t be showing Rambo due to undisclosed “commercial reasons”.

Diana Lodderhose, of industry journal Screen International, which compiles the weekly box office figures, told the BBC website that the decision had contributed massively to the film’s performance and could even have halved its opening takings.

She said that based on the ongoing success of the franchise and the renewed popularity of its star, Stallone, the film could have aimed for somewhere in the region of £2.5 and £3 million in its opening three days, particularly as Sony has launched a massive advertising campaign to support it and Stallone himself had undertaken an enthusiastic promotional tour.

The film, which has been widely criticised for its ultra-violent content, finds Stallone returning to the role of Vietnam veteran John Rambo over 20 years after he first portrayed him in First Blood.

The action takes place in Burma and finds Rambo attempting to lead a rescue of aid relief workers who have fallen into the wrong hands. It has since established itself to be one of the violent films ever made, with a body count in excess of 240.

Find out more about the dispute