Despite four new entries hitting the UK top ten this week none were able to come close to 20th Century Fox's X-Men sequel, X2. With a vast lead the comic-book title took $4.9m (£3.1m) in its second weekend, a 48% drop from its opening.
X2 has already grossed $21.7m (£13.5m) in 11 days in the UK and Ireland and should hold the top spot with ease for a third week next weekend. Its first real competition comes the following week when Warner Bros' launches The Matrix Reloaded (May 21) - the much anticipated sequel to the 1999 hit original.
Leading the opposition and taking up second position was UIP's comedy Old School. Directed by Todd Phillips (Road Trip) the film took $1.2m (£742,478) from 316 sites - including $169,825 (£105,971) of previews from 270 sites.
Columbia TriStar launched horror title Darkness Falls into fourth place with $775,223 (£483,739) from 295 for an average of $2,628 per location. This proved less successful than the company's parallel launch in Spain where Darkness Falls took $880,359 (Euros 765,912) from 224 screens for a screen average of $3,930. Also competing against Old School, Darkness Falls managed second to the UIP film's third in Spain.
Back in the UK, UIP's Working Title hit Johnny English took up third position with a fifth weekend gross of $1.1m (£713,222) from 415 sites. The Rowan Atkinson vehicle has grossed $27.2m (£17m) - over a quarter of its current international cumulative gross - in the UK and Ireland.
Also doing well in the territory for UIP is romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Playing in fifth this week the Kate Hudson-Matthew McConaughey film has taken $8.9m (£5.5m) to date.
Buena Vista International's Hope Springs opened seventh on $588,147 (£367,004) at 303 sites for an uninspiring average of $1,941. The romantic comedy, which stars Colin Firth, Heather Graham and Minnie Driver, played well in London's West End however where it was placed second with a resounding $80,713 (£50,365) from 12 sites - an average of $6,726.
Similarly Momentum Pictures' I Capture The Castle did solid business at 76 locations around the country to take ninth place with $221,381 (£138,142) and an average of $2,913 per venue. The film, which stars Bill Nighy, Tara Fitzgerald and rising talent Romola Garai, also played particularly well on 14 sites in the West End taking $73,237 (£45,700) for an average of $5,231.
In limited release the British Film Institute's (BFI) re-release of 1963 Italian film The Leopard, starring Burt Lancaster, continued to show strong audiences. In its second week it held 14th place with $63,623 (£39,701), rising 2% from the previous week. Playing at five sites it recorded a three-day average of $12,725 and has taken $185,192 (£115,560) after 10 days.
Artificial Eye continues to enjoy good returns for its Russian Ark. The film, which took $24,540 (£15,313) this weekend from 10 sites, has a cumulative gross of $498,575 (£311,111) after six weeks - the distributor's highest earner since Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) which took $689,151 (£430,030) after opening in November 2001.