U.K. 2014 Box Office Drops for Second Consecutive Year as 'Lego Movie,' 'Inbetweeners 2' Dominate

But it's 'Paddington' that proves the unexpected local hit

Without a James Bond or Harry Potter film in the lineup, 2014 was a mostly Hollywood-dominated affair in U.K. cinemas.

However, the year’s overall winner, The Lego Movie, drew just over $1 million more than the No. 2 film — and highest-placed U.K. entry in the top 10 — The Inbetweeners 2. The second spin-off from the popular TV show laughed (and farted and cursed) its way to an impressive haul of $55 million, scoring the U.K.’s biggest-ever opening-day earnings for a comedy in the process.

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Despite the earnings of these two films, the overall box-office tally missed the impact of a major franchise blockbuster, with revenue down almost $90 million, or 5 percent, from 2013 — a year that itself had dropped 1 percent from 2012 — to $1.73 billion as of Dec. 28, according to figures released by Rentrak. This year's box office was also affected by the summer’s World Cup in Brazil, even though England was knocked out in the preliminary stages.

Elsewhere, there were local cheers for Paddington, the live-action/CGI adaptation of the story of the much-loved kids’ character that was arguably the surprise hit of the year, sneaking into the top 10 list at the expense of big-hitters The Wolf of Wall Street and Gone Girl. Despite fears that another fond childhood memory would be ripped to pieces in front of the camera, the film proved to be a hit, earning more than $37 million for distributor and financier StudioCanal by the end of December and sparking talk of a franchise. The film launches in the U.S. on Jan. 16 with The Weinstein Company making the push.

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Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave, backed by the U.K.’s Channel 4, scored big with $33 million, while future award contenders The Imitation Game and Mr. Turner did decent business on their home soil, the latter becoming Mike Leigh’s most successful title of all time.

This year could also be seen as the one when event cinema truly came into its own in Britain. The theatrical screening of the final stage performance of Monty Python Live (mostly) at London’s 02 Arena scored high in July, but just two months later Billy Elliot The Musical Live took the box office top spot, the first time for such a performance.

Here a look at the top 10 at the British box office for 2014 as of Dec. 28:

1

The Lego Movie

WB

$53,301,600

2/14

2

The Inbetweeners 2

Entertainment Film Distributors

$51,839,639

8/29

3

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Fox

$50,797,358

7/17

4

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

LionsGate

$45,828,261

11/21

5

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies WB

$44,692,378

5/22

6

Guardians of the Galaxy Disney

$44,346,496

7/31

7

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Fox

$42,118,080

5/22

8

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Fox

$38,944,150

7/10

9

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Sony

$37,422,591

4/18

10

Paddington

StudioCanal

$37,198,422

11/28

Source: Rentrak

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