Judi Dench Nearly Beat 'john Carter' in U.K.

Most of the actors in the British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are in their 60s, so common sense would say that Disney's John Carter -- a mega-budget Hollywood spectacle headlining 30-year-old hunk Taylor Kitsch -- would have handily beat it in its U.K. debut. Wrong. In its second weekend, Marigold Hotel earned an impressive $2.8 million, nearly matching the so-so $3.1 million opening for Carter (as a comparison, fellow Disney tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides snagged an $8.5 million U.K. debut last year, while Warner Bros.' Christmas sequel Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows opened to $6 million). The early success of Marigold Hotel -- it has earned nearly $20 million in only 10 days -- is impressive and could portend good things for its U.S. run. John Madden's film stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson as a group of retirees who retreat to India (Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel, 21, is the film's only youngster). Fox Searchlight produced the film with Participant Media and will release it in the U.S. on May 4, though it has nearly no chance of matching Carter's $30 million stateside bow.

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