As 20th Century Fox's Minority Report stormed to the top of the UK box office with an impressive opening weekend take of $5.9m (£3.9m) - see separate story - the week's other major opener, UIP's Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron, saw a disappointing performance.
The animated film claimed third place in the chart, however its three-day take stood at just $1.1m (£719,861) from 384 sites, with $309,393 (£203,271) of that accounted for by previews the previous weekend. With a site average of $2,853 the DreamWorks-produced film didn't come close to matching last June's Shrek (also DreamWorks/UIP) which opened with a massive $7.1m (£4.7m) - including previews of $1.4m - at 470 sites.
The result also paled in comparison to early 2002 animated hits, BVI's Monsters, Inc. ($14m opening, including $4.1m previews) in February and 20th Century Fox's Ice Age ($4.6m, inc $1.7m previews) in March. Perhaps the country's appetite for traditionally animated films has subsided following the computer-animated success of the above films and the two Toy Story titles.
Another reason may have been the previews of Warner Bros' live-action kids film Scooby-Doo. Unconfirmed figures reveal that the film, which stars Matthew Lillard, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr, took about $2.8m (£1.86m) from just over 430 sites.
Screening on both Saturday and Sunday, Scooby-Doo looks to have kept audiences away from Spirit which may otherwise have performed stronger in a market dominated by 12-certificate releases Spider-Man and Minority Report and few competing children's titles. This also bodes well for the Warner title for its opening next weekend which could well steal Minority Report's top spot.
Amongst the other openers Novocaine will have left Momentum Pictures numb as it took a weak $16,490 (£10,834) from 10 sites for an average of just $1,649. Columbia TriStar's Dogtown And Z-Boys fared little better - despite favourable reviews with $23,901 (£15,703) at nine sites - an so-so average of $2,656. Neither made the top 15.
A pair of limited release titles played well lower down the chart. Last week's opener The Lawless Heart dropped off just 5% and was able to jump from 16th position to 13th in the process, taking $57,218 (£37,592). Playing at just 12 sites the film took a strong average of $4,768 per site - second only to Minority Report. One position above at 12 was Fox's Kissing Jessica Stein. The romantic comedy claimed $78,426 (£51,526) from 30 sites in its third week on release and has grossed an impressive $530,860 to date.
Rounding out the top five: Spider-Man was knocked into second place taking $2.2m (£1.45m) in its fourth weekend. The Columbia title has grossed $36.2m so far. Last week's highest opener, Warner Bros' Murder By Numbers, dropped off 48% and landed fourth position with a take of $572,772 (£376,311). Fox's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones took fifth position and has a total gross of $55.6m after eight weeks.