How The Greatest Showman defied the critics to become an enduring smash

Being panned by some critics hasn't stopped Hugh Jackman's infectious movie musical The Greatest Showman from becoming the most enduring film hit for a decade.

While Black Panther continues to dominate the box office rankings, raking in more than $1bn worldwide in four weeks, another movie phenomenon has been slowly unfolding.

Last weekend, The Greatest Showman posted a huge 26% upturn in its takings in the UK and Ireland compared with the previous weekend.

That's in its 11th week of release, taking its total to £37.3m - and giving it a longevity that's virtually unheard of in the world of here today, gone tomorrow popcorn fodder.

What makes it more surprising is that the musical extravaganza was met with mediocre reviews when it was released just before Christmas.

The Telegraph declared it "completely and utterly bibbly bibbly quack-quack insane", while the Evening Standard called it "a load of big top baloney".

Its opening weekend saw the film take £4.75m in the UK, putting it in a respectable third spot behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

But over the course of three months, Jackman & co have sung and danced their way into our hearts - and our wallets.

It's now in second position in the UK box office chart - a "remarkable" performance, according to Tom Grater at movie trade publication Screen International.

"Normally a film is expected to see the numbers of cinemagoers drop off by as much as 50% after its opening weekend," says Grater.

But The Greatest Showman only fell by 7% in week two and hasn't suffered the usual weekly major drop-offs. "It has even had multiple upticks," Grater says. "That basically never happens."

"Last weekend, it went up by a massive 26% - which is huge. No film since Avatar [in 2009] has been posting these kinds of numbers beyond week nine - and Avatar was a massive draw because everyone wanted to see the new 3D technology.

"It's just been incredibly consistent over its 11-week run."