Brits At The Box Office: Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tilda Swinton & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

The Christmas season is over, and 2012 is now well in play. Some films did well over this period, with many that we mentioned in our last post remaining at the top of the Box Office, with many that we mentioned in our last post remaining at the top of the Box Office. This weekend there are a couple of great films being released too, including action thriller Contraband and coming-of-age drama Albatross, as well as a few others that are expanding their release to more theaters. Carry on reading to find out what British movies and actors you can see on the big screen over the next seven days, as well as where you will be able to see them.

The big release this week is Contraband, which features British actress Kate Beckinsale in Baltasar Kormákur‘s action thriller, also starring Mark Wahlberg. The film is a remake of the Icelandic 2009 film Reykjavík-Rotterdam which Kormákur starred in, and follows a former smuggler who heads to Panama to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills to protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord. The film will be released on Friday (13th January) and you can see if it is showing in a theater near you here.

British coming-of-age comedy drama, Albatross, gets a limited release from Friday (13th January) too. The film stars Jessica Brown Findlay (TV’s Downton Abbey) as 17-year-old Emelia Conan-Doyle, the heir to the legacy of Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle. Emelia is an aspiring writer who hopes to follow in the literary footsteps of her grandfather, whilst also working at a seaside hotel on the south coast of England, owned by writers-blocked Jonathan (Sebastian KochUnknown), his wife Joa (Julia OrmondMy Week with Marilyn) and their daughter, Beth (Felicity JonesLike Crazy). Beth and Emelia’s friendship is soon threatened, however, when Emelia and Beth’s father begin an affair.

Starring a number of other British actors, including Peter Vaughan, Harry Treadaway, and Thomas Brodie Sangster, you can read our review here and see if Albatross‘ limited release is showing near you here. If you don’t fancy getting off your sofa this weekend, you may also want to check the IFC films On-Demand section on your cable service, as it should also be available to rent.

Expanding its release this week is The Iron Lady, which opened with a limited release for its Oscar Qualifying run on 30th December. The film looks at the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played by Meryl Streep) in London in the 1980′s. It shows how she came from nowhere, smashing through the barriers of gender and class to make her voice heard in a male dominated world, and also stars British actors Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head, Richard E. Grant, and Olivia Colman. Averaging at $35,275 in five theaters, The Iron Lady‘s has already grossed $520,669, and will be released officially and nationwide on Friday (13th January). You can see where this film is showing here.

We Need to Talk About Kevin also expands its release over New York, LA and Encino this coming week. Starring British actress Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia), the film won best movie at the recent London Film Festival and has been travelling across the US for the past couple of months.

Adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name, written by American author Lionel Shriver, Swinton plays the character of Eva Khatchadouria, the mother of a troubled teenage boy (Ezra Miller) who embarks on a high-school killing spree. The story is told from the perspective of Eva, seeing her recount the events in her son’s life as she attempts to deal with her grief and feelings of guilt by writing to her estranged husband (Jon C. Reilly). We Need To Talk About Kevin is expanding to more and more cities over the coming weeks. You can see what fellow BritScene writer Daniel thought of the tough subject matter and Tilda Swinton’s performance with his review here, and you can also see where this film is showing here.

Still at top of box office is a number of films that we mentioned in our last post, the first of these being the fourth instalment to the popular action franchise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which is number 2 in the Box Office charts. Making another $19.9M this weekend, the film’s overall gross is close to reaching $170M.

Starring British actor Simon Pegg in one of the main roles, the film follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) who is carrying out an operation in Moscow when a terrorist bombing destroys the Kremlin, leading the US government to initiate a black operation known as “ghost protocol”. Disavowing the entire Impossible Mission Force, Hunt must now go undercover with his new rogue team to clear their organization’s name. The film will continue to show nationwide and you can watch a clip featuring Simon Pegg’s nerdy IT character below.

David Fincher‘s The Girl With Dragon Tattoo is still holding on at number 4 in the Box Office, and after making $11.4M this weekend the film’s overall grossing has nearly reached $77M. However, in relation to the films $90M production costs, it hasn’t done as well as was hoped. This is probably because the film wasn’t really fitting for its Christmas release, though it seems to be getting good word of mouth and with not a lot of R-rated competition out there at the moment, it will hopefully continue to remain in theaters through award season. Despite not quite meeting box office expectations the sequels for this English adaptation of Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium trilogy have now also been confirmed as well, which I think is great news having loved this movie (read my review here).

The film stars British actor Daniel Craig as investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is asked to help uncover the truth about a woman who has been missing for forty years. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own dysfunctional family. This is where Blomkvist meets Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a young female hacker, as we start to discover the disturbing truth about her past as well. The film will continue to show nationwide and you can watch the 8 minute long trailer for this first novel adaptation below:

Stephen Spielberg ‘s war time drama War Horse is at number 6 in the charts, making $8.7M this weekend and $57M overall. The film follows the story of a young boy, Albert, played by Jeremy Irvine (TV’s Life Bites), and his horse, Joey. Despite being too young to enlist in to the cavalry, Albert heads to France when his horse is sold and sent into the trenches of War. Alongside Irvine is fellow Brits Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Captain Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch (TV’s Sherlock) as Major Stewart, with David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Emily Watson (Oranges & Sunshine), Johnny Harris (London to Brighton) and Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur). The film will continue to show nationwide, you can watch the trailer below and read our review here.

Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is then at number 8 in the charts, making $6.7M this weekend and $62M overall.

The film is the first instalment in a planned trilogy of computer-animated motion-capture adaptations of George Remi’s series of comic strips, which follows British actor Jamie Bell in the motion captured role of Tintin, as he discovers directions to a sunken ship and sets off on his first adventure, a treasure hunt. Directed by Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, the actors in this movie hold many more big British names too, including the talents of Daniel Craig (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Andy Serkis (The Hobbit), Simon Pegg (Paul), Nick Frost (Attack The Block), and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor). The film will continue to show nationwide and you can find out if we think it is worth watching with our review.

Still doing well, again, is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which is still in 3rd place at the Box Office after making nearly $40M in its first week. Taking another $13.7M this weekend, the film’s overall grossing has now reached $157M and will continue to be shown nationwide. The film follows Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and his side kick, Dr Watson (Jude Law) who reunite and team up with mysterious gypsy Sim, played by Noomi Rapace (The Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) to bring down the evil Professor Moriarty, played by Jared Harris (Mad Men).

This was another movie I was lucky enough to catch over the holiday period. Filled with brilliant action and great performances, I highly recommend heading out to see it if you have not already. Take a look at the trailer below and to find out more about what I thought of Guy Ritchie’s take on the classic detective stories, check out my review.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, as well, reached the $10M mark this weekend after a major nationwide expansion this past weekend. Given it’s per theater average it should have no trouble hitting several more milestones over the coming weeks. Based on the novel of the same name written by John le Carré, Tinker Tailor is set in London in the 1970s when secret agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought out of retirement to help identify a mole who has infiltrated the Secret Intelligence Service headquarters. With its Brit packed cast of Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Hurt, the film will continue to show nationwide and you can see if it is coming to a theater near you here, and see what our take on this much talked espionage thriller is, with our review.

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