Elf and Home Alone among festive hits attracting people back to cinemas

Other chestnuts back on the big screen include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Love Actually.
Other chestnuts back on the big screen include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Love Actually.

Seasonal classics Elf and Home Alone are among the films helping to coax people back into UK cinemas, new figures show.

Both movies appear in the latest box office top 10, along with other favourites Die Hard and The Grinch.

But the gross takings for each film reveal just how few screenings are still available to customers.

The 2003 festive comedy Elf topped the chart for the weekend December 4 to 6, grossing £48,244 from 96 cinemas.

Second-placed Home Alone, first released in 1990, was showing at 81 venues and took £36,878.

The 1988 action blockbuster Die Hard made it to ninth place, thanks to box office takings of just £16,980 from 64 cinemas.

Originally released in the middle of summer, Die Hard has since acquired status as a festive film thanks to its plot taking place on Christmas Eve.

(PA graphic)

Just outside the top 10 were two more seasonal regulars: 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol (11th place) and 2003’s Love Actually (12th).

The figures, published by the British Film Institute (BFI), cover all cinemas that are currently open in the UK together with venues in the Republic or Ireland.

Box office takings in Ireland are traditionally included with figures for the UK.

Cinemas continue to be affected by the different levels of Covid-19 restrictions that are in place around the country.

In Tier 3 areas of England, for example, cinemas must remain closed.

This currently includes places such as Greater Manchester, Kent, South & West Yorkshire and the whole of the North East.

Cinemas must also close in areas that are within Levels 3 and 4 of the restrictions in Scotland.

Venues belonging to the cinema chain Cineworld remain shut right across the country, pending financial agreements to secure its future.

And many blockbusters have had their release date postponed from 2020 to 2021, such as the latest James Bond film No Time To Die.

Wonder Woman 1984 is still due to get a theatrical release this Christmas, however.

The BFI figures show that the total amount grossed by the top 10 films for the period December 4 to 6 was £246,409.

This compares with £9.5 million grossed by the top 10 films for the equivalent period in December 2019.

Here is the full box office top 10 for December 4 to 6:

1. Elf £48,244 (96 cinemas)

2. Home Alone £36,878 (81 cinemas)

3. Wolfwalkers £26,171 (64 cinemas)

4. A Christmas Carol £22,366 (88 cinemas)

5. Two By Two: Overboard! £21,952 (108 cinemas)

6. Honest Thief £21,818 (58 cinemas)

7. Pixie £18,824 (49 cinemas)

8. The Grinch £17,377 (65 cinemas)

9. Die Hard £16,980 (64 cinemas)

10. Katherine Jenkins: Christmas Spectacular £15,799 (82 cinemas)