Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle narrowly claimed the lead in the UK and Ireland over its opening weekend but only thanks to the inclusive preview figures from Thursday.
Columbia TriStar's action sequel saw a good opening of $5.5m (£3.3m) from 473 sites - including $623,538 (£374,123) of previews taken from 428 locations on Thursday. The result was slightly higher than the $5.3m (£3.2m) taken by its predecessor when it was released on Nov 24 2000. However, the site average could not match the original Charlie's Angels which played at 441 sites. The first Charlie's Angels film grossed $21.6m (£12.9m) in the UK and Ireland.
The weekend picture was different though when taking off Full Throttle's preview figures. In the territory as a whole the loss of Thursday's gross would drop the sequel behind BVI's Bruce Almighty.
Over the literal three-day weekend Bruce Almighty claimed $5.4m (£3.26m) from 446 sites for a location average of $12,181 - down just 35% from its launch weekend. In comparison Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle took $4.8m (£2.9m) from 473 sites for an average of $10,215 during the three-day period (July 4-6).
The same pattern was seen in the Republic of Ireland where Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle claimed first with $394,528 (Euros 343,634) at 62 screens. However, subtracting the Thursday previews of $55,791 (Euros 48,594) places the sequel behind Bruce Almighty's weekend score of $388,452 (Euros 338,342) from 56 screens.
Bruce Almighty is already BVI's biggest hit to open this year in the UK/Ireland with a 10 day cumulative score of $22.3m (£13.4m).
UIP's 2 Fast 2 Furious dropped into third place with a $1m (£624,299) weekend to bring its total to $10.3m (£6.2m) after three weekends. The sequel should pass the total of 2001's The Fast And The Furious, which took $11m (£6.6m) in the UK/Ireland, within the next week.
Another sequel, Warner Bros' The Matrix Reloaded, claimed fourth this week, adding $515,808 ($309,485) in its seventh weekend to bring its cumulative score to $52.9m (£31.7m). The weekend saw the sci-fi title reload in Imax, opening at the BFI London Imax at Waterloo to take a powerful $64,470 (£38,682).
Pathe's horror holdover, Wrong Turn, stood up well in its second week, dropping off just 27% to take $451,433 (£270,860). The title has a 10 day total of $1.5m (£926,649). Meanwhile Columbia's own horror title, Identity, fell in behind Wrong Turn at six and has taken $4.8m (£2.9m) after four weeks on release.
BVI's animated kids film, Piglet's Big Movie opened in the Republic of Ireland this week, following its debut in Scotland on June 27, and entered the nationwide chart at ten with $121,407 (£72,844). The film opens in England and Wales on July 18.
Entertainment Film Distributors' Ripley's Game also received a boost from an Irish release of $61,878 (Euro 53,896) from 35 screens which gave the thriller a UK/Ireland weekend of $73,493 (£44,096). It re-entered the chart at 14 and has a total gross of $1.5m (£917,414). It is handled in Ireland by Abbey Films.
The only other opener to make the chart this week was Momentum Pictures thriller Dark Blue. Ron Shelton's film, which stars Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames, opened in 11th place with $116,045 (£69,627) from 62 sites.