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The quintessentially British duo of Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley made a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful bid to knock the all-American team of Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway from the top of the U.K. box office this weekend.
The Imitation Game still managed to score the second-biggest opening weekend for any U.K. movie so far this year behind The Inbetweeners 2, taking $4.2 million from 459 locations. The film also became the second-biggest opening ever in Britain for StudioCanal, just behind 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (also starring Cumberbatch, although in a smaller role).
In third position, The Imitation Game was followed by another new entry, the seasonal comedy Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?, which defied critical scorn (“like a Christmas ad directed by Satan,” according to U.K. newspaper The Guardian) to deliver a festive performance that yielded $2.8 million in box-office revenue.
Mr. Turner slipped one spot to fourth as Mike Leigh’s art biopic (and his biggest film to date in Britain) added $1.2 million to bring its overall revenue to $6.8 million after three weeks.
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