‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ pushes producers past the billion-dollar mark

Working Title becomes first British production company to take $1bn in the UK box office

Billion dollar baby: Patrick Dempsey, Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth in ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’. The third instalment of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones series has taken $41.1 million at the UK box office.

Billion dollar baby: Patrick Dempsey, Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth in ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’. The third instalment of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones series has taken $41.1 million at the UK box office.

 

Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third instalment in the big-screen adventures of Helen Fielding’s big-swigging klutz, has done so well at the UK box office that it has broken fresh records for the production company responsible. A continued healthy run over the weekend, contributing to a $41.1 million running UK total, has meant Working Title is the first British company to make $1 billion (£770 million) at the UK box office.

“When we started, a British film doing a couple of million at the box office outside of Bond was amazing,” Tim Bevan, co-chairman of Working Title said.

Four Weddings and a Funeral was a lightbulb moment for us where a non-American film could really do big commercial business, and it’s great that the audience has come along for that.”

Despite Bridget Jones’s Baby’s success in the UK, it has experienced more pronounced teething trouble with US audiences – the film has so far only taken $21 million in the US.

Fruitful collaborations

In its 33-year history, Working Title has made more than 100 titles, and built fruitful collaborations with directors such as Stephen Frears, Edgar Wright, Paul Greengrass, the Coen brothers and Richard Curtis, as well as with other studios and distributors.

It has a first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures – which led to recent success with the likes of Everest ($15.8 million in the UK) and The Danish Girl ($10.8 million) – as well as an informal relationship with StudioCanal, with whom it saw its biggest pre-Bridget hit (Legend, which took $28 million in the UK).

Upcoming titles include Wright’s first US-set film, Baby Driver, an adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman starring Michael Fassbender, a Curtis-scripted live-action film, The Little Mermaid, Smiley’s People, which will see the return of Gary Oldman after the success of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Victoria and Abdul, a royal drama reuniting Philomena star Judi Dench and its director Stephen Frears.

– (Guardian service)