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T2: Trainspotting loses out to Sing at top of UK box office despite strong debut

T2: Trainspotting

Story by Jack Foley

DANNY Boyle’s T2: Trainspotting has missed out on top spot at the UK box office despite a strong opening weekend of £5.15m.

The figure would usually be more than enough to secure top spot but the sequel – set 20 years after his iconic original – had the misfortune of going up against animated family movie Sing, which secured one of the best openings of recent years with a whopping £10.48m including previews of £4.20m.

To put that into context, last year’s Finding Dory opened with £8.12m on its way to a total of £42.9m (to become the fifth biggest movie of 2016), while The Secret Life of Pets, which became the 10th biggest film of 2016, began with £9.58m.

It means that few animated films not based around a sequel or spin-off idea have enjoyed better openings than Sing. Even Frozen, the biggest hit ever from Disney Animation, started out with a modest £4.70m.

It meant that T2 had to settle for second spot – despite boasting one of the biggest openings for a sequel on its own terms, as well as for an 18 certificate film. Indeed, T2‘s figure was particularly impressive given that it’s been 20 years since the first film, which means that Boyle’s film had to coax ageing cinemas back to the big screen as well as appeal to a new generation.

Only Fifty Shades of Grey, Bruno and Hannibal have seen UK opening weekends surpass the £5 million mark.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, T2 did particularly well in Scotland, earning 26% of its total gross there.

Elsewhere at the UK box office, last week’s Oscar nominations helped La La Land to enjoy another strong weekend with £3.11m, bringing its UK total to £20.95m after 18 days.

M Night Shyamalan’s Split came fourth with £2,000,319 (for a total of £6,030,395 after two weeks), while rounding out the top five was Mel Gibson’s WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge (starring Andrew Garfield), which took £1,490,158.

Thanks to the arrival of Sing and T2: Trainspotting, plus healthy returns for La La Land and Split, the UK box office was 112% up on the equivalent week from last year, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant topped the chart.

And its robust performance can be measured by the fact that the 10th-placed film at the weekend – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – grossed more than £500,000 – a feat achieved by the 10th-placed title only twice throughout the whole of 2016.

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