‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ ‘Whitney Houston’ Remain Atop U.K. Box Office

Disney’s James Cameron blockbuster “Avatar: The Way of Water” stayed atop the U.K. and Ireland box office for the fourth weekend in a row with £5.8 million ($7.1 million) and now has a running total of £57.2 million, per numbers released by Comscore.

In its second weekend, in second place, Sony’s “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody” scored a strong £1.3 million for a total of £6.2 million. Sony accounted for the third and fourth places on the charts as well. “Matilda the Musical,” which collected £1.1 million in its seventh weekend for a total of £23.9 million, placed third. “A Man Called Otto,” starring Tom Hanks, debuted in fourth position with £1.08 million.

Rounding off the top five was Piece of Magic’s concert film “Andre Rieu In Dublin 2023,” which debuted with £732,770. Another debut, Universal’s “Till,” placed sixth with £327,496.

On the back of its strong showing in the BAFTA longlist, MUBI’s “Aftersun” climbed back into the charts in 10th position with £91,252 for a total of £1.2 million.

Of the new releases, Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” starring Olivia Colman, released on Monday, Jan. 9, instead of a traditional weekend bow.

There are two wide releases this upcoming weekend, both of which Universal is opening across more than 300 locations – awards season frontrunner “Tár,” directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss and Noémie Merlant; and Gerard Johnstone’s horror “M3gan,” where a robotics engineer at a toy company builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own.

Altitude is releasing Western “The Old Way,” starring Nicolas Cage, while BFI Distribution is bowing Mark Jenkin’s Cannes title “Enys Men.”

This being the week of Indian harvest festivals Pongal and Sankranti, there are five releases from the country, four of them starring massive stars from the south of the country. Vijay stars in Vamshi Paidipally’s Tamil-language action family drama “Varisu,” released by Ahimsa Entertainment, while H. Vinoth’s Tamil-language action heist film “Thunivu,” starring Ajith Kumar, is distributed by Boleyn Cinemas.

Megastar Chiranjeevi headlines K.S. Ravindra’s Telugu-language action comedy “Waltair Veerayya,” while cult star Nandamuri Balakrishna leads Gopichand Malineni’s Telugu-language action drama “Veera Simha Reddy.” Both titles are released by DreamZ Entertainment U.K.

The lone Bollywood release during the festival frame – Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s comedy crime drama “Kuttey,” starring Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Kapoor, Tabu , Konkona Sen Sharma and Radhika Madan – is being released by YRF Distribution.

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