Top 10 Grossing Films in the UK 2012

If you went to the cinema in 2012 the likelihood is that you saw a sequel, prequel or reboot at some point. They dominated the box office in 2012. But what film came out on top?

Unsurprisingly, highly anticipated sequels, prequels and reboots dominated the UK box office in 2012.

While the iconic characters from Marvel and DC Comics dominated the market, it was Great Britain’s own “superheroJames Bond who won the race to the top. Skyfall, the twenty-third James Bond film, was the most financially successful film of the year in the UK, breaking records on these shores and internationally.

Other strong performers this year include Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble.

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10. The Hunger Games (£23.6m / $38.1m)


The hype surrounding “teen-centric” novels off the back of the success of the Twilight series meant The Hunger Games was always likely to be successful. The dark subject matter and a talented Jennifer Lawrence also helped the film gain notoriety. Read our reviews of the film by Chris Wharfe & Rob Keeling

Learn more about Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games

9. Prometheus (£24.7m / $39.8m)


The highly anticipated Prometheus suffered from the huge expectation that followed director Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien series he started in 1979. The film confused some, disappointed others but still managed to achieve a decent box office return. Read my review / Chris Wharfe’s review

Prometheories: Guide to Prometheus

8. The Amazing Spider-Man (£25.5m / $41.4m)


“Reboots” are the new “sequel” in Hollywood and Spider-Man received another re-imagining in 2012. The film was generally considered a disappointment and its box office return in both the UK and US was way below rivals such as Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight Rises

7. Ted (£29.8 / $48.4m)


One of the year’s biggest hits was Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s feature film directorial debut. The talented MacFarlane also provides the voice for Ted.

Seth Macfarlane’s Ted invades London

6. Ice Age: Continental Drift (£30m / $48.7m)


The fourth Ice Age film was an instant hit in the UK. Although it made over $150 million in the US, it was outside the top 10 highest grossing films of 2012. In the UK its £30 million box office return puts it sixth on the list.

5. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (£35.4m / $57.5m)


A sequel to one of the most popular franchises of recent years, an adaptation of a popular teen novel, and featuring the hottest couple in Hollywood (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), Twilight’s concluding cinematic chapter was always going to be a hit. Perhaps its final box office return could be considered slightly disappointing given The Hobbit was able to beat it despite arriving at the end of the year and enjoying less time in cinemas.

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (£35.8 / $58.1m)


Peter Jackson’s return to the Lord of the Rings world was highly anticipated, not least because of its use of new camera technology allowing Jackson to film at 48 frames per second (as opposed to the traditional frame rate of 24). Reviews of both the film and the frame rate were mixed but its box office return in the UK and the US has been strong.

Top 10 Lord of the Rings Characters

3. Avengers Assemble (£51.6m / $83.8m)


In 2012, there were three films that dominated box office takings. The first of these is Avengers Assemble, which featured some of Marvel’s iconic superheroes teaming together in one movie. The film was almost guaranteed success given that it acted as a sequel-of-sorts to a number of films such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. Interestingly, the film didn’t play as well in the UK as it did in the US where it dominated the box office, earning $150 million more than its nearest rival.

Top 10 Superhero Films

2. The Dark Knight Rises (£56.2m / $91.3m)


Another hugely anticipated sequel, this time from acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises might not have lived up to the hype generated after the brilliant The Dark Knight but was still one of the best films of 2012.

Read why I think The Dark Knight Rises is one of the best films of 2012 or check out Dan Grant’s counter argument in 50 Films Better Than The Dark Knight Rises in 2012

1. Skyfall (£100.4m / $162.5m)


The UK took to its favourite “superhero” like a duck to water. Skyfall broke box office records all over the world. Its $1 billion worldwide return make it the highest-grossing film for Sony Pictures. Its staggering success in 2012 means it is currently the 14th highest grossing film of all time. In the UK, Skyfall grossed £20.1 million on its opening weekend – the only film to better this return was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. By the end of the year it was the first film to break £100 million in the UK.

The Best James Bond Films | Bond Girls | Gadgets | Opening Credit Sequences | Vehicles | Henchman | Quips

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Written by Daniel Stephens.

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Your turn – what are your favourite films of 2012? Which films were you most disappointed by? What was the big surprise of 2012?

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Pete Reply

    Glad to see the top 2 are in my top 10 of the year! Would be curious to see the top 10 most profitable!

  2. ruth Reply

    Not surprised at all to see Skyfall at #1 and rightly so. A lot of movies in my top 10 of the year also made the list.

  3. Jaina Reply

    It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside knowing that Skyfall was the biggest film for the UK box office. :D

  4. Evan Crean Reply

    Sometimes you guys really make me wonder if I’d fit in better as a moviegoer if I lived in the UK. I enjoy the majority of the films that made this list and don’t feel like any of them are too pretentious. Not surprised that Bond topped the box office in the UK. His win is well-deserved since Skyfall is such a great entry in the franchise. Personally my favorite film in the mix is The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble), which I enjoyed more than Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises. Although I’m thinking Nolan carries more box office clout there considering it’s his home turf. Overall I was happy with 2012 as a year for movies and I’m interested to see what 2013 brings.

  5. Dan Grant Reply

    I don’t see how Breaking Dawn 2 is disappointing at all. Hobbit had IMAX and 3D so that inflates the gross immensely. And 57.5 mill in the bank, it easily surpasses all other grosses of the series.

    BD1: 48.8 mill
    Eclipse: 45.7
    NM: 43.4

    So it did much better than it’s predecessors. So, no offense, but how exactly is it disappointing?

  6. Dan Reply

    @Dan: …disappointing in the sense that it not only had a ready-made audience but followed-on directly from a previous story (expectation) and concluded a franchise. I’m not saying its box office return was poor but, like I mentioned, it could be considered disappointing given it was bumped from 4th by a film that had only been out for about three weeks.

  7. Novroz Reply

    No surprise there!! Bond has got to be number 1 in UK ;)

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