Die Another Day, 20th Century Fox's James Bond film, triumphed at the UK box office this weekend dropping off just 22% from its launch weekend and stealing the top spot from Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. The Bond title claimed $8.3m (£5.4m) from 431 sites over the weekend, bringing its 12-day total gross to $28.1m (£18.1m).
Dropping into second Chamber Of Secrets fell 36% from the previous week with $7.2m (£4.7m) at 524 locations. Despite its record opening and two extra days of previews Chamber Of Secrets is already lagging behind last year's Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.
Philosopher's Stone had grossed $59.3m (£38.1m) by the close of its third weekend on release in 2001 in comparison the sequel's $57.6m (£37m). Chamber Of Secrets in dropping off noticeably quicker. Despite relatively low falls of 29% and 36% for the sequel's first two holdover weekends, the original fell a comparative 13% and 31% in the same weekends.
Eating into Harry Potter's market this weekend was third-placed new opener The Santa Clause 2. One of two launches from Buena Vista International this weekend (with The Quiet American) the Tim Allen comedy took a solid $1.5m (£951,754) from 362 sites for a good $4,089 site average.
Similarly impressive, The Quiet American opened at just 97 venues but took a strong $374,109 (£240,552) for an average of $3,857 per location and sixth place in the chart. The romantic thriller joined another BVI release directed by Phillip Noyce in the chart: Rabbit-Proof Fence. Now in its fourth week of release, the film snapped up 11th place with $139,283 (£89,559) at 90 venues.
The Quiet American enjoyed a host of strong reviews and a marketing campaign supported by star Michael Caine, who is tipped for an Academy Award nomination for his role as Thomas Fowler, a British journalist caught up in events in 1950s Vietnam.
Word of mouth should keep the figures strong in the next couple of weeks. However, BVI is not expected to widen the film nor move the prints around the country, despite its awards buzz and critical acclaim.
In London's West End alone The Quiet American claimed $124,369 (£79,969) from 11 locations - an impressive average of $11,306 per screen. The film co-stars Brendan Fraser as the eponymous quiet American and Do Thi Hai Yen as the Vietnamese woman both leading men fall for.
Also opening in limited release was UGC Films' second title 8 Women. Francois Ozon's film claimed ninth place with a stunning $175,935 (£113,126) from only 40 sites for a terrific average of $4,398 - the best of any opener this week. The impressive ensemble cast features many of France's most beloved screen actresses including Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant and Danielle Darrieux.
Opening in fourth place nationwide, Columbia TriStar's Jennifer Lopez vehicle, Enough, managed $529,705 (£340,600). Playing at 238 sites the thriller scored a disappointing average of $2,226.
Rounding out the top five this week was Icon Film Distribution's Anita & Me. The UK comedy drama dropped off just 28% from its opening week to take $509,428 (£327,562) from 226 sites. It has a cumulative total of $1.6m after ten days on release.