UK box office hits of 2013

Despicable Me 2 tops the list.

by Jennie Kermode

Despicable Me 2 was the most popular film released in the UK this year, according to box office figures. It was a strong year for animation generally, with Monsters University, The Croods, Wreck-it Ralph, Epic, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, The Smurfs 2, Turbo and Frozen all making the top 30. It was also a year for action, with Iron Man 3 at number three and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Man Of Steel, Gravity. Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 all in the top 10.

A notable exception to these themes was Les Misérables, the second biggest UK box office hit this year. Philomena also did well despite not opening until November, in a year when four of the top ten films were notable for strong performances by women.

Another curiosity worth noting is One Direction: This Is Us, which made it to number 41, an impressive showing for a concert film and probably a result of fans going to see it repeatedly.

In a year with a lot of big Hollywood blockbusters, things were tough for independent British films, but when takings are compared to the cost of production a different pattern emerges and it's clear that they've done very well indeed. US/UK co-production Les Misérables made its money back in the UK alone and turned a profit of over £91m overall, before DVD and merchandise sales. Despite only making it to number 51 on the list Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa made a 50% profit after recouping costs.

As for films opening in December, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug still managed to climb to number 32, with year end takings of just over £9m (compared to Despicable Me's £44m), and as it's still running in many cinemas its overall takings are likely to be quite a bit higher.

Will we see any of these films winning awards? Gravity has received a lot of nominations for direction, acting and cinematography, and Despicable Me 2 is looking strong in the Animation category, but both face stiff competition. Philomena hasn't really garnered enough attention in the US but may be worth an outside bet.

Share this with others on...

The humanity of the story Melissa Haizlip on Ellis Haizlip, Black creativity and Mr. Soul!

Capturing trailblazers Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas on fighting prejudice and the importance of journalism in Writing With Fire

Having a treasure Gregory Monro on Eyes Wide Shut, Barry Lyndon, Full Metal Jacket, the Aryan Papers, and Napoleon

Closely observed Annalise Lockhart on ghosts, invisibility and making Inheritance

Casting spells Jimmy Giannopoulos on Emory Cohen, Ewan McGregor and Lorraine Bracco in The Birthday Cake

San Sebastian announces New Directors titles 13 films vie for prize

More news and features

We're looking forward to the 25th edition of Fantasia, horror favourite Frightfest and the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

We've recently covered the Cannes Film Festival, Tribeca, the Cheltenham International Film Festival, Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ festival Inside Out, New York's Human Rights Watch Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.