U.K. Box Office: ‘Imitation Game’ Has Year’s Second-Biggest Opening for British Film

But it wasn't enough to crack the code of 'Interstellar,' which topped the weekend ranking

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). 

Interstellar’s $5.9 million weekend revenue in Britain brought Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi head-scratcher up to $19 million in just two weeks of release.

Read more Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley Stress Codebreakers' Modern Relevance

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.

The fifth spot was reserved for the final new entry in the top 10, the Tom Hardy-starring crime thriller The Drop, which bagged $1 million.