Atom Egoyan's Ararat scored the highest screen average of films on release in North America last weekend.

Opening on six screens in Toronto, New York and LA, the film logged a cumulative $211,130, for an average of more than $35,000. The next highest per screen average was the weekend's box office champ, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, at $23,997.

In a jubilant statement, co-producer Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Pictures said, the numbers were "the first real vindication for our efforts to bring this untold chapter of history to the screen." He said it corroborated his conviction that a market exists for challenging films.

Egoyan, who also co-produced, credited backer Alliance Atlantis and US distributor Miramax Films for "an extraordinary job of combining grass roots marketing with a more traditional campaign."