U.K. Box Office: 'Paddington' Opens in Top Spot With $8 Million

Paddington the Bear Still - H 2014
Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Paddington the Bear Still - H 2014

The adaptation of the popular children's books beats 'Interstellar' and gives StudioCanal its biggest-ever opening weekend in Britain

Paddington, the live-action and CGI adaptation of the popular children’s books, took the top spot in the U.K. box-office ranking, scoring the biggest U.K. opening weekend ever for studio and distributor StudioCanal.

The film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman and Julie Walters, with Ben Whishaw voicing the bear, earned a weekend total of $8 million across 520 sites, with a per-screen average of $15,500, according to StudioCanal.

While official figures from Rentrak are yet to be released, the result sees Paddington beat The Imitation Game, another StudioCanal release, which took $4.2 million in its opening weekend in November, in becoming the year's second-biggest opening for a U.K. film behind comedy The Inbetweeners 2.

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"It was a great challenge for StudioCanal to compete in the family space with the best of USA studio productions," said the company’s chairman Olivier Courson in a statement. "I'm so proud of the film, which, thanks to [producer] David Heyman and [director] Paul King combines very British humor with a universal, incredible adventure ripe with beautiful comedy and emotion. We are so happy with this phenomenal response from the U.K. audience, richly deserved."

In November, Paddington was awarded a "parental guidance" (PG) rating by the British Board of Film Classification, which said the film contained "dangerous behavior, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language." Following a request for reconsideration by StudioCanal, the BBFC changed its designation of "mild sex references" to "innuendo" and said the "mild bad language" was "infrequent." However, it kept the PG rating.

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Paddington will be released by The Weinstein Company in the U.S. on Jan. 16.