Bridget Jones's Diary vaulted to the top of the North American box office in its second weekend with an appetising estimated $10.53m at 2,211 sites for an average of $4,739 per site. Distributed domestically by Miramax Films, the comedy from Helen Fielding's best-selling novel had opened behind Spy Kids and Along Came A Spider last weekend but this week increased its screen count and bettered both of them.
The film - also number one in the UK for the second straight weekend - is another hit for production outfit Working Title Films and echoes the success of Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill - also romantic comedies set in London and starring Hugh Grant.
It was a great weekend for Miramax who snagged the number one and two spots for the first time in its history. Genre label Dimension Films continued to score with Spy Kids with a fourth weekend gross of $10.2m and a total of $86.6m. It is fast heading for the $100m bar only achieved by Miramax or Dimension on six previous occasions (Scream, Scream 2, Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare In Love, Scary Movie, Good Will Hunting).
Two newcomers didn't perform as badly as predicted by some. Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles, a second sequel to the 1986 blockbuster again starring Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski took $8m for the fourth position at the box office. While that pales beside the first two movies, reviews for the film had suggested that this sequel would be dead in the water.
And 20th Century Fox which has already had a run of flops this year (Monkeybone, Say It Isn't So, Someone Like You) managed to generate $7.3m from the opening weekend of Freddy Got Fingered, the first film vehicle for MTV celebrity Tom Green. Battling some of the worst reviews since Battlefield Earth from US critics, the bad taste R-rated comedy played on 2,270 sites for an okay average of $3,199. Fox partner New Regency Productions financed the film.
Of other specialised newcomers this weekend, none performed particularly strongly. United Artists relaunched Michael Winterbottom's The Claim at 23 sites for about $95,000; Artisan Entertainment's The Center Of The World from director Wayne Wang took $75,000 from seven theatres; Miramax Films opened French thriller With A Friend Like Harry at just two theatres for $28,000, while TriStar's The Body starring Antonio Banderas took just $25,000 from 11 theatres.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US MARCH 30-APRIL 1
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (3) Bridget Jones's Diary (Miramax) Universal/StudioCanal $10.53m $25.7m
2 (1) Spy Kids (Dimension) Miramax International $10.2m $86.6m
3 (2) Along Came A Spider (Paramount) UIP $9.1m $47.1m
4 (-) Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles (Paramount) Kathy Morgan Int'l $8m --
5 (-) Freddy Got Fingered (20th Century Fox) Fox International/Regency $7.3m
6 (5) Blow (New Line) New Line International $6m $35.3m
7 (4) Joe Dirt (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $5.4m $19.2m
8 (6) Kingdom Come (Fox Searchlight) Fox International $4.7m $16.6m
9 (7) Josie And The Pussycats (Universal) MGM/Fox $3.1m $11.6m
10 (9) Enemy At The Gates (Paramount) Mandalay/UIP $2.1m $46.5m