‘Fuzz’ seizes $11.5 million in U.K.

Cop comedy takes top of box office

LONDON — Homegrown laffer “Hot Fuzz” stormed to the top of the U.K. box office charts in its opening frame, taking a boffo $11.5 million in its first five days.

Edgar Wright’s local laffer, which stars comic duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, has not looked back since it opened ahead of the pack last Wednesday — Valentine’s Day.

The $8.5 million Friday-Sunday “Fuzz” haul was well over twice that of the next best performer — Paramount’s half-term kiddie’s treat “Charlotte’s Web,” which did $3.7 million at 495.

Thanks to a bullish campaign from Universal and solid promotional work from Pegg and Frost, “Fuzz” benefited hit theaters with huge pre-release buzz.

The cop spoof received mostly positive reviews from the Brit crix. Declaring it “would be a crime to miss it,” reviewer Johnny Vaughan from the Sun tabloid wrote. “The eye-popping action is worthy of the blockbusters it lampoons and a razor-sharp script packed with top one-liners make this easily the most arresting Brit-com of 2007.”

Awareness was boosted late on by the London West End world premiere on Feb. 13, the day before it went wide and captured Valentine’s Day lovebirds’ hearts.

The release reps the biggest success for distrib Universal since UIP was disbanded. U has released “Fuzz,” “Smokin’ Aces” and “The Return” in 2007. The company also took over distribution of 2006 holdovers “Children of Men” and “The Holiday.”

Pegg and Frost first came to the fore in cult TV series “Spaced.” Romantic zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead” proved a surprise box office hit on both sides of the Pond; grossing $12.8 million in the U.K. and $13.5 million in North America in 2004

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