Following four weeks under the reign of The Matrix Reloaded UK audiences finally elected a new box office champion this week with 2 Fast 2 Furious taking pole position. The fast-paced UIP action vehicle helped rev up the total box office for the UK/Ireland top 15 by 12% on the previous week.
2 Fast 2 Furious grossed $4.6m (£2.7m) over the weekend from 424 sites - including $534,672 (£320,803) of previews. The sequel was a 56% improvement on its predecessor's opening. The Fast And The Furious took $2.9m (£1.8m) over the Sept 14-16 weekend in 2001.
Paul Walker again stars in the sequel, which was directed by John Singleton. It certainly suffered no ill effects from the loss of the original's co-star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen.
The reign of 2 Fast 2 Furious looks unlikely to show the longevity of The Matrix Reloaded however with next week's major launch, BVI's Bruce Almighty, already clocking up $3m (£1.8m) in previews from two days of screenings over the weekend. The Jim Carrey comedy has further previews on Thursday (June 26) before opening on Friday (June 27). This is then likely to be usurped the following week by Columbia TriStar's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
Two French productions also received good launches this week led by Metro Tartan's critically acclaimed documentary To Be And To Have (Etre Et Avoir). Nicolas Philibert's film opened in 13th position with $51,457 (£30,874) from just nine locations for an impressive average of $5,717 per venue. It is another success for the distributor following the recent good form of Secretary, which has grossed $1.5m (£901,950) since launching on May 16.
Placed at 15 was UGC Films' first release of the year, Summer Things (Embrassez Qui Vous Voudrez). The comedy of tangled love claimed $46,015 (£27,609) from only 13 sites for a solid $3,540 average. Michel Blanc's film stars Charlotte Rampling, Jacques Dutronc and Carole Bouquet.
The only other opener to make the chart was Icon Film Distribution's thriller Basic. The John Travolta film took a mauling from critics and struggled at the box office taking $413,480 (£248,088) from 311 sites for a weak average of $1,330.
The Matrix Reloaded dropped 40% in its fifth weekend on release to take second place with $1.1m (£644,219). The sci-fi action flick now has a cumulative score of $50.5m (£30.3m).
Columbia's horror title Identity held up well in its second weekend dropping off a mere 28% from its opening to retain third place with $858,940 (£515,364). The film, which headlines John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet, has a 10-day cumulative total of $3m (£1.8m).
In comparison last week's fourth-placed opener, Entertainment Film Distributor's Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, dived 57% this week into fifth place, taking $481,113 (£288,668) from 348 sites. Columbia's Anger Management placed fourth and boasts a $7.7m (£4.6m) score to date after three weeks on release.