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'12 Years A Slave' Opens Strong In The U.K. And Elsewhere

Box Office
by Sergio
January 13, 2014 10:35 PM
17 Comments
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12 Years A Slave

No question that 12 Years a Slave, because of its subject matter, was never going to be a Hunger Games blockbuster, but it has done well here the U.S. 

The question though has always been, how would it play overseas?

Well it seems that the answer to that question is: very well.

The film opened last week in the UK, and grossed $4.1 million on just 207 screens, with a screen average of just over $20,000, with reports of sold out shows, making it currently No.1 on the UK box office.

Compare that to Django Unchained, which opened a year ago in the U.K. and made $.6.1 million its opening weekend. Pretty good, but when you consider that Django first opened on 445 screens - twice the number of of theaters currently showing 12 Years - and that Django has major box office stars in it, such as Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, that makes 12 Years’ weekend opening even more impressive.

Django went on the make $30 million in the U.K. alone, and 12 Years could, at this point, easily equal that number.

And in another 8 countries where 12 Years has opened, it's already doing excellent business; In Spain, $3.7 million to date, Sweden, $826,000, Russia, $736,727 and Greece, $544,000, making the worldwide total for the film, $51.6 million so far, with many more foreign territories to come.

At this rate, the film is sure to hit, or even surpass $100,000,000 worldwide.

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17 Comments

  • Brown Bomber | January 15, 2014 12:38 PMReply

    These terms like "Boot Licking", "Uncle Tom" "House N*"!$r" I never understand why we as a people allow ourselves to freely band these words around, with out care for what impact they have on the recipient, and not even possibly taking a moment to reflect on what it says about messenger! After all, African American, Black Brit, West Indian (Caribbean) or mainland African etc . The "White World" for a lack of better description in politics and media, lumps us ALL in to one barrel, when convenient. So must we also fulfill their ideal by acting like a "bunch of crabs in a barrel" just to elevate our personal point above the parapet. Come 2014 we need to do better folks! :-(

  • JANA SANTE | January 15, 2014 9:54 AMReply

    Carl writes: 'Won't happen, but it's good to know you rather have the film where the slave overcomes brutality, not do as well as the one where the slaves catch hell. What a classy, SAFE, boot licking Brit you are.'

    Dear Carl. Engage your capacity for cognitive, critical analysis momentarily. In exalting Tarantino's venture as one "where the slave overcomes brutality," I only wonder whether you in fact have even watched 12 Years A Slave, for it appears to have entirely skipped your attention that the central protagonist in McQueen's film prevailed through brutality, endured through force of intellect, wrote his own passage to emancipation and thereafter in the closing statement of the film, committed the terms of his remaining years as a free man to aiding other enslaved Black folk to escape bondage.

    In your haste to deride the merits of a film based on factual first person narrative of an emancipated Black American man, in favour of fictitious bloody fodder from the pen of Anglo-America- I can only conclude that Tarantino had your ilk in mind when in an interview on British television ahead of Django's release, he stated his paternal desire to "give Black men a hero." Take solace, dear Carl. But when next you condescend to frolick in such dizzy notions of 'bootlicking'- a cautionary word: take heed, take pause and contemplate the boots that you in fact are licking.

  • No Surprise | January 14, 2014 4:04 PMReply

    The world has no problem watching us catch hell and turning the other cheek. Let me see global support of blacks kicking ass and winning or black romance films. Then pass out the hand jobs. Until then, please.

  • jess | January 14, 2014 1:32 PMReply

    Link to original article?

  • jess | January 15, 2014 3:48 PM

    Why do you get irritated when someone asks you to at least pretend to be a credible blogger and cite sources?

  • sergio | January 14, 2014 2:35 PM

    What's the matter? You think I made it all up? You caught me. I confess

  • JANA SANTE | January 14, 2014 11:14 AMReply

    From a Brit perspective, I'm as relieved to hear this as I am pleased that British people came out to support this McQueen film. They've taken no chances campaigning hard for this film. Mr McQueen's been all over British media and every spinnable angle on the film's been etched into column inches. Personally, I just need for this film to do better numbers than that Tarantino venture (yes Sergio...I said it!). Moreover though, I just want to see this same amount of media hype in response to that next project Mr McQueen has brewing; the one about Black Britishness, spanning '68 to 2014. That right there is the epic I want to see.

  • Sergio | January 14, 2014 2:34 PM

    Wait hold it. For the recordsI have absoutely nothing against what Jana said. What you said about her is totally uncalled for. I'm happy that 12 Years is doing well overesas. Any serious black film that does well at the box office is a good thing. If the film should make even better than Django in the U.K. more power to it. Who's going to complain about that?

  • Donella | January 14, 2014 2:15 PM

    I'm definitely interested in McQueen's next project. I predict the entire world will be interested in what he has to say about Black Britishness.

  • Carl | January 14, 2014 2:02 PM

    Won't happen, but it's good to know you rather have the film where the slave overcomes brutality, not do as well as the one where the slaves catch hell. What a classy, SAFE, boot licking Brit you are.

  • KaffeeKlatsch | January 14, 2014 9:29 AMReply

    I'm a fan of the film, but don't you think part of the overseas success is because of extent to which the film is also British--British director, lead and supporting actor. Steve Macqueen is a major artist in the UK and Michael Fassbender is a big star there. And Brad Pitt also helps I'm sure. Not saying that the film doesn't merit doing well overseas, but I do think the international flavor of the cast and crew helps make it not just an "American" film. ---Also, the fact that it shows the US in a bad light probably doesn't hurt, too...

  • KaffeKlatsch | January 14, 2014 6:31 PM

    Peggy, it is definitely an excellent movie....but excellence doesn't always mean box office. Luckily, (and I think because of the high profile of its British cast) it is getting more of a marketing/PR push than it would have had the director, lead and supporting actors had been American). And marketing and PR are key, too.

  • KaffeeKlatsch | January 14, 2014 6:28 PM

    Absolutely Donella....Ejiofor is also a star over there. Ejiofor is definitely a big name in the UK, too!

  • Donella | January 14, 2014 2:14 PM

    Not jumping on your back, but I'd like to mention that Chiwetel Ejiofer is also a major artist and star in the UK with a larger body of work than either McQueen or Fassbender.

  • Peggy | January 14, 2014 11:11 AM

    Or it could be that it's a very excellent movie.

  • sergio | January 14, 2014 10:39 AM

    Yes you make a very valid point which I have mentioned before on S & A that films that make the U.S. look bad do very well overseas giving people a sense of superiority while conveniently forgetting their own history oppression and hatred in their own countries and worldwide

  • KaffeeKlatsch | January 14, 2014 9:29 AM

    typo: Steve McQueen....before anyone jumps on my back....

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