The second Harry Potter film was not the only new release breaking records in the UK over the weekend. Proving that there is a strong market for alternatives to studio blockbusters, Momentum Pictures' Bowling For Columbine launched on just 28 screens for a stellar $249,444 (£157,898).

The opening gave Michael Moore's satirical documentary the biggest opening ever in the UK for a documentary beating the likes of In Bed With Madonna - the highest-grossing documentary in the UK in terms of total theatrical earnings - and this year's Lost In La Mancha.

After just three days on release Bowling For Columbine is already the seventh highest-grossing documentary in the UK (see table below).

Although Bowling For Columbine played on a record number of prints for a documentary release in the country, its impressive screen average of $8,909 also outstripped that of any previous documentary. The film finished the weekend placed tenth in the UK chart - a strong achievement for a film on such limited release. It will widen by an extra six prints next week.

Bowling For Columbine finished in second place in a chart of releases in London's West End. The film grossed $130,747 (£82,763) from 10 screens for an average of $13,075.

Bowling For Columbine opened in North America on Oct 11 with a weekend take of $209,148 from 8 screens for MGM/UA. It had grossed over $7.5m as of Nov 14, passing the $7.002m taken by 1999's Buena Vista Social Club from Artisan Entertainment - but still some way below 1991's Truth Or Dare (In Bed With Madonna) which grossed $15m for Miramax

Top Ten Documentaries in the UK 1991-2002

Title (Distributor)/ Release date/ Total UK gross

1 In Bed With Madonna (Rank)/ 19 July 1991/ $1,956,154
2 Buena Vista Social Club (FilmFour)/ 17 Sept 1999/ $1,499,651
3 When We Were Kings (Polygram)/ 16 May 1997/ $848,057
4 Microcosmos (Pathe)/ 16 May 1997/ $408,532
5 Lost In La Mancha (Optimum Releasing)/ 2 Aug 2002/ $360,569
6 Kurt And Courtney (Downtown)/ 3 July 1998/ $253,997
7 Bowling For Columbine (Momentum Pictures)/ 15 Nov 2002/ $249,444*
8 Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Blue Dolphin)/ 16 March 2001/ $194,943
9 The Filth And The Fury (FilmFour)/ 12 May 2000/ $184,116
10 32 Films About Glenn Gould (Electric)/ 17 June 1994/ $179,480

*still on release