27 November 2012 7:39 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The followup to 2009's surprise hit Nativity! enjoys a straightforward delivery, holding off competition from Silver Linings Playbook, Gambit and End of Watch

The winner

It may not have been a hit with the nation's critics, but Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! proved comfortably the top new release at the UK weekend box-office, beating bigger-budget offerings starring Hollywood A-listers Cameron Diaz, Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal. With an impressive opening of £1.61m, that's more than double the debut of the original Nativity! (£794,000) three years ago. Nativity! went on to accumulate £5.2m during its 2009 run, 6.5 times its opening, thanks to positive word-of-mouth among its target audience of families, and the natural tendency of Christmas-themed movies to sustain and build as the holiday approaches. A similar multiple would deliver a total above £10m for Nativity 2.

Debbie Isitt's original Nativity! flew relatively under the radar – the big festive movie »

- Charles Gant

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