Idris Elba's 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Breaks South African Box Office Records

Many fans took the day off work to catch the film

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Idris Elba's latest flick 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' has been setting the South African box office on fire as the star's biopic of South African leader Nelson Mandela opened with an astonishing $73.747 (£49,164) the highest ever for a non-holiday weekend.

The movie hit screens last Thursday with hundreds of devoted fans going as far as taking the day off work so they could be the first in line to catch the heart warming picture.

Idris Alba's 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' smashes South African Box Office records (MediaPunch/WENN)

'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' follows the life story of South African leader Nelson Mandela from his early days as a child all the way through to becoming the nation's first ever democratically elected president.

Elba told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, that playing Mandela was a "massive challenge" adding that “it was important we had both sides, the good and the bad.

"I didn't want to deface Mr Mandela in any way, but I didn't want to portray him in a way that wasn't honest... the challenges were massive, but we embraced them.

"He had a very difficult life, so we weren't expected to make an easy film."

The Justin Chadwick directed film which also stars British babe Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela the ex-wife of the former President, opened in US cinemas yesterday while it will hit UK cinemas on January 3, 2014.

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