Box Office: 'Paddington 2' Scores Biggest U.K. Opening for StudioCanal

'Paddington 2'

The critically acclaimed sequel took home $10.9 million in its first weekend, a 59 percent higher gross than its record-breaking predecessor amassed over the same period.

StudioCanal's cuddly, marmalade-loving Peruvian bear has underlined his box-office power. 

Paddington 2 landed in U.K. cinemas over the weekend with a haul of £8.3 million ($10.9 million), making it the mini-major's biggest British opening of all time. The sequel — fully financed by StudioCanal in partnership with Heyday Films — accounted for 42 percent of the weekend's gross box office, and is the 12th biggest opening of 2017 (third best if you only take into account three-day openings). The sequel also managed to earn 59 percent more than the original's opening in 2014. Paddington would go on to become the most successful non-studio family film of all time, earning more than $265 million globally. 

With Paul King returning to the director's chair, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville and Ben Whishaw (voicing the titular bear) reprising their roles, and Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the live-action/CGI adventure, Paddington 2 has received widespread critical approval, THR describing it as "almost unbearably wonderful."

The film — which StudioCanal is releasing in its own territories later this year — is still officially due to launch in the U.S. via The Weinstein Company-Dimension on Jan 12., but it is understood that a new distributor has been sought following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.