Bruce Willis can still save the day judging by the box office performance of A Good Day to Die Hard. Despite being universally panned by the critics the fifth instalment in the Die Hard franchise topped the UK box office in its debut week taking £4.6 million.
25 years after the first Die Hard made Willis’ hard-ass cop John McClane a household name the franchise has managed to knock Disney animation Wreck-It Ralph of the top spot. Released on Valentine’s Day, A Good Day to Die Hard steamed to the top of the charts in just four days.
Despite the film being roundly dismissed by reviewers, one having called it “the poorest in the series” and another summing it up as “a limp parody”, audiences across Britain were undeterred.
Judd Apatow’s loose follow-up to Knocked Up, This Is 40, also successfully debuted on Valentine’s to make third place with £1.22 million.
Another new film, Beautiful Creatures, widely seen as set to fill the tween vacuum left by the Twilight and Harry Potter films, came fifth behind Les Miserables with takings of £1.12 million.
The box office could not save another British film that hit cinemas on the same day as Die Hard to an even harsher critical response. One critic branded Ray Cooney’s film adaptation of his successful stage farce Run For Your Wife a “catastrophe” another called it "as funny as leprosy". The film scraped £602 from the nine cinemas it was screened at between Thursday and Sunday.