Brits At The Box Office: Daniel Radcliffe, James D’Arcy, Andrea Riseborough & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

Not so much of a busy week this week with only a couple of limited releases, but we do have one big release that we have been talking a lot about over the past few months. So let’s make some form of literal drum roll, because this first film is set to do very well over the next seven days, as we will finally get to piece together the many number of clips and images that we have seen…

Did you guess it? Yes, it’s finally time for the release of Hammer Horror’s The Woman In Black starring British actor Daniel Radcliffe as a young lawyer in the 1900s, which is out on Friday (3rd February). This adaptation of Susan Hill’s horror novel of the same name has had a lot of promotional footage released over the last few months, and this week it has actually been getting some really good reviews.

Directed by James Watkins, The Woman In Black follows Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) who sets about to uncover the truth of a mysterious ghost set on vengeance dressed all in black. When he travels to a remote English village on further exploration into the village’s secrets, he learns that children there routinely die under mysterious circumstances, and begins to encounter fearful visions of the female figure he was warned about. See where the film is showing here and watch the eerie trailer below:

Next up we have Ben Wheatley’s British horror Kill List, which is out in two cinemas this Friday (3rd February), at The IFC Center in New York and The CineFamily In LA, for a special one week run. Filmed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, the film follows British soldier Jay (Neil Maskell) who returns home from a botched job in Kiev. Eight months later, an old friend, Gal (Michael Smiley), a contract killer, persuades him to take a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff after three assassinations. Although the hits start off without incident, Jay’s disturbed past surfaces as things begin to unravel and Jay spins out of control during jobs, revealing his paranoia as he is plunged into the heart of darkness.

If you can’t attend either of these showings then the film is still available on VOD (Read more here), and you can see what we thought about this physiological horror film by reading our review here.

Lastly this week is Madonna’s W.E. which is also out on Friday (3rd February) with a limited release, featuring British actors James D’Arcy and Andrea Riseborough as King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

W.E. is a two-tiered romantic drama set in Manhattan in 1998, focusing on the affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard. Despite a very negative press reaction to the film, Madonna has already won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and based on the trailer and the stunning ballroom scene (see here) released, it does not look too bad.

Out last week that we unfortunately forgot to mention is also Rodrigo García’s Irish drama Albert Nobbs, starring British actress Glenn Close who plays a women in 19th century Ireland who has to pose as a man to work as a butler in Dublin’s most prestige hotel. Some thirty years after having to dress as man to maintain any independence, she looks to escape the lie that she has been living after meeting a handsome painter.

Originally a short story titled The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by Irish author George Moore, Albert Nobbs was first adapted into an off-Broadway production by Simone Benmussa, in which Close first played Nobbs in 1982 which she won an Obie award for. Close then decided to turn the production into a film which she not only stars in, but is also the producer and co-writer for, which also stars British actors also stars Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre), Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass), Brendan Gleeson (The Guard), Janet McTeer (TV’s Five Days) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (TV’s The Tudors). Here’s a list of theaters showing where his film is showing.

As for the films released last week that we did mention, The Grey has reached number one at the box office, making nearly $20M in its first week. Directed by Joe Carnahan, The Grey is an action-packed adventure that sees British actor Liam Neeson lead an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out.

Man on A Ledge then reached number 5 at the box office after making $8M its first week. Starring British actor Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) and Australian, but British born, actor Sam Worthington (Avatar) in the suspenseful looking drama Man On A Ledge. The film follows Nick (Worthington), an ex-cop who makes a desperate and life-threatening move to prove his innocence after he is framed for the theft of a rare, prized diamond. Recently escaped from prison and with nowhere else to go, Nick climbs onto the ledge of a towering skyscraper, inviting the eyes of New York City to anxiously watch as one wrong step could mean plunging to his death.

But as one police negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) soon learns, Nick’s daredevil stunt, captivating the eyes of the public and media, masks a dangerous ploy to reveal the truth about his tarnished name. With the help of his brother (Jamie Bell) and with time running out, Nick’s intricate plan must work perfectly, but when you’re on the 25th floor ledge of a building, going down takes on an entirely more hair-raising meaning.

Still putting bums on seats as well are two of British actress Kate Beckinsale‘s latest films, with Underworld: Awakening which remains at number 2 at the box office in its second week, grossing a total of $45M after making another $12.5M this weekend, and also thriller Contraband which has nearly reached the $60M mark in its third week. Here’s an action-packed clip featuring the actress as she returns to her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene in the fourth instalment to the Underworld series:

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