The Grinch steals ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody at UK box office

Knocking Bohemian Rhapsody off the top of the UK box office after its two-week reign is The Grinch, the latest from Despicable Me animation house Illumination Entertainment. The Dr Seuss adaption begins with a solid if unspectacular £5.02m. In the US it performed better, with a $67.6m (£52.3) debut.

Dr Seuss has never been as popular outside the US as within it, and The Grinch is especially beloved in America – many grew up watching the 1966 animated short How the Grinch Stole Christmas on television every festive season. The 2000 live-action film starring Jim Carrey grossed $260m in North America and $85m from the rest of the world. The UK total for the film (released as The Grinch) was £15.2m – just over half the box office you might expect going purely by the American number.

As for the release date, family films during the festive season tend to release early, gain a foothold and then play steadily all the way until Christmas. The Grinch’s opening number compares with a debut of £6.29m and £10.5m including previews for Illumination’s Sing in late January 2017 – but The Grinch surely has a whole load of riches ahead of it in December, so Universal won’t be sweating just yet.

Despite losing its position at the top of the UK chart, Bohemian Rhapsody came in a close second with third-weekend takings of £4.56m. After 19 days, the Queen biopic has clocked up a mighty impressive £28.9m. Only three films this year have grossed a bigger number in their third session than Bohemian Rhapsody did: Peter Rabbit, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2. Even Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again failed to match Bohemian Rhapsody’s third-weekend takings of £4.56m. The Abba musical remained in the UK top five for eight straight weeks – the kind of success Bohemian Rhapsody will need to achieve if it is to reach box-office heights. So far, it’s the ninth biggest hit of 2018.