The Lego Movie has been named the No 1 film at the UK box office in 2014, narrowly beating homegrown sequel The Inbetweeners 2 and science-fiction epic Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with a haul of £34.27m.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s film proved one of the year’s surprise critical smashes, with audiences young and old connecting to the story of a lowly Lego construction worker fighting to bring down the established system overseen by the tyrannical Lord Business. Voice cast included Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman, and a spin-off, featuring Will Arnett’s Lego Batman, is due in 2017.
The Inbetweeners 2’s £33.33m haul compared favourably with the £41.8m taken by the original film in 2011. The final big-screen instalment of the adventures of home counties quartet Will, Jay, Neil and Simon saw the hapless foursome travel to Australia for another laddish getaway.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with Britain’s Andy Serkis reprising his role as sapient mo-cap monkey Caesar, landed in third with £32.63m. Matt Reeves’ film sees the nascent ape society, which has been founded in the redwood forests of northern California, come into contact with a group of humans who have survived the apocalypse.
The top five was rounded out by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, with £29.46m for the year, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with £28.71m. The year’s highest-grossing film at the US box office, Guardians of the Galaxy, could manage only sixth in the UK with £28.51m, while the world’s highest-grossing film of 2014, Transformers: Age of Extinction failed to even make the British top 10.
The idiosyncrasies of the British film-going public were further confirmed by the arrival of Paddington, based on the stories of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond, in the top 10. Despite only having opened in late November, the Anglo-French co-production, which features Ben Whishaw, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi, landed at No 10 with an impressive haul of £23.91m.
Overall, it was a relatively poor year for cinemas, however, with box-office revenue down by almost £57.86m from the 2013 total.
UK top 10 films, 2014
1. The Lego Movie – £34.27m
2. The Inbetweeners 2 – £33.33m
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – £32.63m
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – £29.46m
5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – £28.71m
6. Guardians of the Galaxy – £28.51m
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past – £27.05m
8. How to Train Your Dragon 2 – £25.01m
9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – £24.06m
10. Paddington – £23.91m
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 31st December 2014 11.48 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010