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Les Miserables film breaks UK box office record

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The film adaptation of Les Miserables has beaten Mamma Mia!'s box office record for the biggest ever opening weekend for a movie musical in the UK.

Tom Hooper's acclaimed film version, which stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Samantha Barks, recorded three-day takings of £8.13 million, beating Mamma Mia!'s figure of £5.2 million.

Les Miserables, which opened in the US on Christmas Day, has now taken more than £124.6 million worldwide. It recently won Best Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, with Jackman and Hathaway claiming acting awards. It's also predicted to convert several of its eight Oscar and nine Bafta nominations.

Working Title's Eric Fellner said: "We're incredibly proud that this film, like the stage play, is proving to be a truly global phenomenon."

Les Miserables had its world premiere at the Barbican on 8 October 1985. Based on Victor Hugo's classic humanitarian novel set in 19th-century revolutionary France, the musical has a book by Alain Boublil, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.

After its premiere at the Barbican, the landmark Royal Shakespeare Company production, adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and designed by John Napier, transferred, care of Cameron Mackintosh, to the West End’s Palace Theatre where it ran for 18 years before moving down the road on 3 April 2004 to the Queen’s.

Several previous cast members, including original company members Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle, appear in the film version.

Tom Hooper, who also directed Oscar-winner The King's Speech, used an innovative technique whereby he filmed the actors singing live on set, rather than adding a recorded track later.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said of Hooper's technique: "We have found an amazing group of actors who are completely at home acting through music, and the only way you can make that work is by capturing it in the moment."

Following Les Miserables' success Mackintosh is now rumoured to be planning a film adaptation of another of his hit Boublil and Schonberg collaborations, Miss Saigon.


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