In truth, Ghost Protocol and A Game of Shadows were always more fairly matched competitors than Dragon Tattoo. Both are action-oriented sequels based on material with broad appeal, teaming an A-list male star in his 40s (Cruise, Robert Downey Jr) with a slightly younger man (Jeremy Renner, Jude Law). And crucially, both achieved family-friendly 12A certificates, perfectly suited to the multi-generational cinema visits that often occur between Christmas and New Year. Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, was saddled with an 18. It's questionable that the festive release date was perfectly attuned to a film featuring grisly images of sexual violence. Top 18-certificate hits at the UK box-office are Hannibal (released February 2001, with £21.6m), American Beauty (February 2000, £21.2m) and Seven (January 1996, £19.5m). The other 18-rated films in the top 10 were released in May (The Silence of the Lambs, Basic Instinct), October (The Departed, Pulp Fiction), September (Snatch), February (Trainspotting) and July (Bruno).
Saturday, January 07, 2012
BBFC + UK box office
From The Film Guardian's weekly analysis of box office returns comes this useful summary of the difficulties an 18-rating poses, at least for producers seeking a major hit, looking at the Xmas week when Mi4 topped the UK box office: