How Hull helped The Personal History of David Copperfield to box office success

The Personal History of David Copperfield, director Armando Iannucci's film remake of Charles Dickens' novel, has been a hit at the UK box office and won rave reviews.

On its opening weekend it had the third highest commercial success behind 1917 and Bad Boys for Life, taking £1,524,147 across 656 cinemas after coming out on Friday, according to the British Film Institute.

Director Armando Iannucci with stars Peter Capaldi and Dev Patel. Picture: Lionsgate UK/FilmNation Entertainment/Film4/Screen Yorkshire.

Director Armando Iannucci with stars Peter Capaldi and Dev Patel. Picture: Lionsgate UK/FilmNation Entertainment/Film4/Screen Yorkshire.

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And amused audiences in theatres across the country will be enjoying it amid the backdrop of Hull on screen, as the city on the Humber doubles for Dickensian London in the feature.

The Old Town was transformed to look like 1840, with filming on location around Princes Street and Land of Green Ginger.

Harriet Lawrence, supervising location manager for the film, previously said: "Hull is an astonishing gem of an old city and filming David Copperfield there was an absolute pleasure.

A scene from The Personal History of David Copperfield. Picture: Lionsgate UK/FilmNation Entertainment/Film4/Screen Yorkshire.

A scene from The Personal History of David Copperfield. Picture: Lionsgate UK/FilmNation Entertainment/Film4/Screen Yorkshire.

"Our director and production designer were impressed and inspired by the extensive range of period architecture in Hull’s Old Town - particularly the network of numerous historic cobbled streets which allowed us to recreate 19th century Dickensian London."

He added: "Never before have we had so much freedom to film within a city. Not only were we given the logistical support by Hull City Council, they also made it remarkably affordable - vital when persuading producers that travelling out of the capital will offer a really viable option, even on a reasonably low budget film."

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From birth to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England.

It stars actors such as Dev Patel in the lead role, as well as Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton and Paul Whitehouse.

The Observer film critic Mark Kermode gave the movie five stars out of five, describing it as "a wonderfully entertaining film, managing to both respect and reinvent the novel from which it takes its lead, creating something new and exciting in the process".

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, meanwhile, said it was "bracing, entertaining, richly satisfying experience" at four out of five stars.

Robbie Collin, for the Telegraph, gave it four and said the "rollicking farce keeps the spirit of Dickens intact" and Kevin Maher in the Times concurred with the rating, saying Patel's "lead performance is a highlight".

The film has been released by Lionsgate UK and is a FilmNation Entertainment and Film4 production.

It was produced by Kevin Loader and Iannucci and also stars Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Welsh and Rosalind Eleazar.

Suzie Harman and Robert Worley served as costume designers, Cristina Casali as production designer, Christopher Willis as composer and Karen Hartley-Thomas as hair and make-up designer.