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Britain likes 'Speech' and 'Swan'

January 24, 2011|By Ben Fritz

"The King's Speech" and "Black Swan" are indie hits in the U.S., but in Great Britain, they're just plain hits.

The two low-budget specialty pictures took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, at the British box office this weekend, beating such bigger-budget and seemingly more mainstream fare as "The Green Hornet" and "The Dilemma."

"The King's Speech," which stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist, took the top spot for the third weekend in a row in the nation where the story takes place. It raked in $6.5 million, down only 7% from the previous weekend, and has reached a total of $28 million, making it a major hit in the country.

The Natalie Portman psychological horror film set in the world of ballet, "Black Swan," debuted in Britain this weekend to a strong $4.2 million. Its first overseas weekend also saw a No. 1 bow of $3 million in Germany and a good but not as impressive third place start in Australia with $2.5 million.

"The King's Speech" and "Black Swan" have been breakout hits from the specialty films world in the U.S. and Canada but have not hit the top of the domestic box office charts as they have in Great Britain.

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