With UK cinemas still closed we may as well run down 2020’s highest box office grossers so far. Today I’ll look at how much the highest earners took at the UK Box office (using Box Office Mojo and Google Money Converter). These numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and are correct at the time of writing (20/05/20)) and what critics; audiences thought of them.
10. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (£9,400,000)
Cathy Yan’s DC Universe offering sees Harley Quinn teaming up with a group of female heroines to fight against the evil Black Mask.
Audience Thoughts: 78% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.2 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “While watching Birds of Prey, it becomes clear that comic book movies are still going to dominate the box office for many years to come. If any of those could be as much fun…then we would be over the moon.“
9. Parasite (£12,000,000)
Bong Joon Ho’s Best Picture winner sees the poor Kim family scam their way into working for the rich Park family. But do the Kim’s deserve our sympathy and what secrets are the Park’s hiding?
Audience Thoughts: 90% – Rotten Tomatoes / 8.6 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “It’s dark, funny, clever, surprising, and I’m sure I could use almost every adjective in my lexicon.“
8. The Gentlemen (£12,300,000)
Guy Ritchie’s latest gangster films focused on an American marijuana emperor trying to leave the business. But various factions conspire to extort him for all he’s worth.
Audience Thoughts: 84% – Rotten Tomatoes / 7.9 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “It is a coarse, convoluted, comical caper that exults in the joys of genre.”
7. Jumanji: The Next Level (£16,100,000)
The gang from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, along with new additions Danny Glover and Danny DeVito, return to Jumanji to face new challenges.
Audience Thoughts: 87% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “Jumanji’s next level is rather satisfying.“
6. Dolittle (£16,700,000)
Robert Downey Jr. leads an all-star cast as the famous doctor who can talk to animals sets out to find a cure for an ailing young Queen Victoria.
Audience Thoughts: 76% – Rotten Tomatoes / 5.6 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “It really is horribly inert, and every time Downey opens his mouth to say something unintelligible, the film dies a bit more.“
5. Bad Boys for Life (£17,000,000)
Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett must team up with a team of younger cops to take down the leaders of a violent drug cartel.
Audience Thoughts: 96% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “Bad Boys for Life is … pure enjoyment and entertainment.“
4. Sonic the Hedgehog (£19,100,000)
Sonic and his friend Tom race to San Francisco to find the rings to transport Sonic off-world before Dr. Robotnik catches them.
Audience Thoughts: 93% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.6 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “The world contains many terrible video game movies. This isn’t one of them.”
3. Little Women (£19,400,000)
Greta Gerwig’s remake of the literary classic follows the March sisters as they experience career hardships, romance, tragedy, and triumph during and after the American Civil War.
Audience Thoughts: 92% – Rotten Tomatoes / 7.9 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “Though we can’t foretell whether time will be cruel or kind to Gerwig’s “Little Women,” it may just be the best film yet made by an American woman.”
2. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (£20,100,000)
The Skywalker Saga concludes. Emperor Palpatine returns to threaten the galaxy. Rey and the remnants of the resistance must find a way to stop him. While contending with the rage of Kylo Ren.
Audience Thoughts: 86% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “It doesn’t do anything new or even terribly distinctive, but maybe it didn’t have to. It just had to be good enough to stick the landing, and it does that.“
1. 1917 (£46,600,000)
Presented in a pseudo-continuous shot 1917 follows two soldiers tasked with physically delivering orders for a battalion to stand down before German forces kill them all.
Audience Thoughts: 88% – Rotten Tomatoes / 8.3 – IMDb
Critics Thoughts: “1917 will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first moment and will leave you breathless.“
This year’s top 10 collective taking may be comparatively low (over £188 million) but with a relatively diverse group of creative teams (including 2 solo female directors and a foreign-language film) and an interesting mix of tales (including three original properties not based on pre-existing work or part of larger franchises), 2020 is more interesting than 2019. Which was dominated by comic book adaptations, remakes, and sequels to popular franchises (mostly from Disney and their subsidiaries). Hopefully, the upcoming months will bare good tidings for UK cinemas.
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