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’12 Years A Slave’ Opens Strong In The U.K. And Elsewhere

'12 Years A Slave' Opens Strong In The U.K. And Elsewhere

No question that 12
Years a Slave
, because of its subject matter, was never going to be a Hunger Games blockbuster, but it has
done well here the U.S. 

The question though has always been, how would it
play overseas?

Well it seems that the answer to that question is: very well.

The film opened last week in the UK, and grossed $4.1 million on just 207 screens, with a screen average of just over $20,000, with
reports of sold out shows, making it currently
No.1 on the UK box office.

Compare that to Django
, which opened a year ago in the U.K. and made $.6.1
its opening weekend. Pretty good, but when you consider that Django first
opened on 445 screens – twice the number
of of theaters currently showing 12 Years – and that Django has major box office
stars in it, such as Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, that makes 12 Years’ weekend opening even more impressive.

Django went on the make $30 million in the U.K. alone, and
12 Years could, at this point, easily equal that number.

And in another 8 countries where 12 Years has opened, it’s already doing excellent business; In Spain, $3.7 million to date, Sweden, $826,000, Russia, $736,727 and Greece, $544,000, making the worldwide
total for the film, $51.6 million so
far, with many more foreign territories to come.

At this rate, the film is sure to hit, or even surpass $100,000,000 worldwide.

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Brown Bomber

These terms like "Boot Licking", "Uncle Tom" "House N*"!$r" I never understand why we as a people allow ourselves to freely band these words around, with out care for what impact they have on the recipient, and not even possibly taking a moment to reflect on what it says about messenger! After all, African American, Black Brit, West Indian (Caribbean) or mainland African etc . The "White World" for a lack of better description in politics and media, lumps us ALL in to one barrel, when convenient. So must we also fulfill their ideal by acting like a "bunch of crabs in a barrel" just to elevate our personal point above the parapet. Come 2014 we need to do better folks! :-(


Carl writes: 'Won't happen, but it's good to know you rather have the film where the slave overcomes brutality, not do as well as the one where the slaves catch hell. What a classy, SAFE, boot licking Brit you are.'

Dear Carl. Engage your capacity for cognitive, critical analysis momentarily. In exalting Tarantino's venture as one "where the slave overcomes brutality," I only wonder whether you in fact have even watched 12 Years A Slave, for it appears to have entirely skipped your attention that the central protagonist in McQueen's film prevailed through brutality, endured through force of intellect, wrote his own passage to emancipation and thereafter in the closing statement of the film, committed the terms of his remaining years as a free man to aiding other enslaved Black folk to escape bondage.

In your haste to deride the merits of a film based on factual first person narrative of an emancipated Black American man, in favour of fictitious bloody fodder from the pen of Anglo-America- I can only conclude that Tarantino had your ilk in mind when in an interview on British television ahead of Django's release, he stated his paternal desire to "give Black men a hero." Take solace, dear Carl. But when next you condescend to frolick in such dizzy notions of 'bootlicking'- a cautionary word: take heed, take pause and contemplate the boots that you in fact are licking.

No Surprise

The world has no problem watching us catch hell and turning the other cheek. Let me see global support of blacks kicking ass and winning or black romance films. Then pass out the hand jobs. Until then, please.


Link to original article?


From a Brit perspective, I'm as relieved to hear this as I am pleased that British people came out to support this McQueen film. They've taken no chances campaigning hard for this film. Mr McQueen's been all over British media and every spinnable angle on the film's been etched into column inches. Personally, I just need for this film to do better numbers than that Tarantino venture (yes Sergio…I said it!). Moreover though, I just want to see this same amount of media hype in response to that next project Mr McQueen has brewing; the one about Black Britishness, spanning '68 to 2014. That right there is the epic I want to see.


I'm a fan of the film, but don't you think part of the overseas success is because of extent to which the film is also British–British director, lead and supporting actor. Steve Macqueen is a major artist in the UK and Michael Fassbender is a big star there. And Brad Pitt also helps I'm sure. Not saying that the film doesn't merit doing well overseas, but I do think the international flavor of the cast and crew helps make it not just an "American" film. —Also, the fact that it shows the US in a bad light probably doesn't hurt, too…

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