Brits At The Box Office: Jamie Bell, Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

This week we’re doing a Christmas round-up of films, so you know what will be on in theatres up until New Years Day. There’s three new releases to be looking forward to – The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse and The Iron Lady – and there’s also a few of last week’s films still doing well, with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows placing itself at the top of the box office.

Out in cinemas today is The Adventures of Tintin, the first instalment in a planned trilogy of computer-animated motion-capture adaptations of George Remi’s series of comic strips. The film follows British actor Jamie Bell as the voice of Tintin, who discovers directions to a sunken ship they set off on their first adventure, a treasure hunt. Directed by Stephen 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 (Lord of the Rings), Simon Pegg (Paul), Nick Frost (Attack The Block), and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor). The Adventures of Tintin opens nationwide and you can watch the trailer below:

Steven Spielberg’s second film this holiday season is set for a Christmas Day release. War Horse 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 Jeremy Irvine are fellow Brits Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Captain Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit) as Major Stewart, with David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Emily Watson (Oranges & Sunshine), Johnny Harris (London to Brighton) and Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur). You can get a good look at the movie, that is bound to be around come awards season, by taking a look at the trailer below, or you can watch 8 clips from the film in a previous post here.

The Iron Lady also has limited release from 30th December in Los Angeles and New York City, which will be just in time for the film to qualify as an Academy Award contender. The film looks at the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), and the price that is paid for power, as the Prime Minister 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. The film stars British actors Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head, Richard E. Grant, and Olivia Colman, and will be released to a wider number of theaters on 13th January, 2012.

Also out today is the fourth instalment to the popular action franchise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. We did mention this film, which stars British actor Simon Pegg in one of the main roles, in last week’s post as it had a limited release from 15th December. The film made $13.4M in 425 theatres, but with a full release today you will have a better chance of getting to see it. The film follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) who is carrying out an operation in Moscow when a terrorist bombing destroys the Kremlin while, 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. You can watch a new featurette spotlighting Pegg’s “ultimate IT guy” Benji, and take a look at his character in action in the clip below:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was released yesterday too, starring British actor Daniel Craig in an English adaptation of Stieg Larsson‘s Swedish Millennium trilogy. Craig plays 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 first Swedish adaptations of the novels, directed by Niels Arden Oplev, were a brilliant set of films, but it will be nice to see Fincher’s take on the trilogy, and also not to have to read any subtitles. This big budget production, which has had some amazing promotion over the last few months will of course open nationwide and you can get a good idea what the film is all about with the 8 minute trailer below:

Finally, still in cinemas is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows which is currently at the top of the box office after making nearly $40M in its first week. The film follows Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and his side as 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). After a strong box office performance in its first week, this will be showing nationwide and as well as the trailer below you can see our full coverage of clips and featurettes here.

Finally Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is still going strong and is expanding into more and more theaters. In its second week of release it grossed half a million dollars in just 16 theaters across the country – an average of $28.5K per theater. 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, this espionage thriller will continue to expand over the coming weeks and well into awards season, you can see if it is coming to a theater near you here.

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