The UK and Ireland embraced UIP's American Pie: The Wedding this weekend as the comedy marched up the aisle into pole position.

The third instalment in the popular series claimed $6.6m (£4.2m) from 326 sites including $1.3m (£802,322) of previews in the territory. It dethroned last week's leader Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl and saw a mighty three-day average of $16,387.

The launch was not enough to beat 2001's slice however. American Pie 2 opening on Oct 12, 2001 with $8.9m (£5.5m) at 420 sites , including $1.2m (£765,550) or previews, and went on to gross $29.1m (£18.3m) in the territory.

American Pie, released in October 1999, took $3.3m (£2.1m) from 338 sites over its launch weekend and claimed $22.3m (£14m) in total.

Despite losing the lead to American Pie: The Wedding, BVI's Pirates Of The Caribbean held up well, dropping a mere 19% from its launch weekend, to take second place. The adventure film added $4.2m (£2.6m) this weekend for a ten day cumulative score of $15.3m (£9.6m).

Also holding better this weekend was Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines. The Columbia TriStar film fell 38% into third with $2.2m (£1.4m) from 456 sites. It has grossed $23.2m (£14.6m) to date.

American Pie: The Wedding was not the only franchise continuance making a killing this weekend. Opening day and date with the US, Freddy Vs Jason launched at 237 sites for Entertainment Film Distributors, taking $1.25m (£785,870).

Boasting a powerful site average of $5,289, the film, which pitches horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees against each other, had a stronger launch than the last entries in either the Nightmare On Elm Street or Friday The 13th franchises. It also scored a better launch than last year's rival horror franchise Halloween Resurrection which claimed $828,742 (£519,621) over its launch weekend.

Freddy Vs Jason managed to take more in its opening weekend than Entertainment's Jason X took in total last year ($765,560), although 1992's Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare had a stronger UK bow with $2.6m (£1.6m).

Rounding out the top five was BVI's Spy Kids 3-D:Game Over which continues to do well, dropping just 6% this week, to take $824,691 (£517,081) and bring its cumulative score to $5.9m (£3.7m) after three weekends.