A host of new releases disappointed this week in the UK and Ireland leaving BVI's Calendar Girls unchallenged and able to sweep back to the top of the chart.

The comedy drama is showing Billy Elliot-type box office legs and after improving 5% in its second week on wide release over its first, this week it dropped off just 5% to put it back on almost exactly the same figure on which it opened wide.

Furthermore, this drop can be completely accounted for by the 5% drop in screens this weekend, showing that in effect Calendar Girls's audience turn out remained unaltered. The film has taken a stellar $15.7m (£9.5m).

Last week's leader, UIP's The Italian Job, was also undisturbed by new releases falling a mere 19% from its launch three-day weekend to take $2.4m (£1.5m) for a $7.6m (£4.6m) 10-day cumulative score. Meanwhile Entertainment holdover Underworld dropped 40% in its second week but retained third place and has taken $5.1m (£3.1m).

Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon A Time In Mexico, a follow-up to his 1996 film Desperado, saw a disappointing turn in fourth place with $1.4m (£843,758) from 313 sites - a solid but less-than-explosive $4,471 location average. Considering the near $11,000 location average Desperado took when it opened on a limited nine print release in February 1996 and the added presence of current box office hero Johnny Depp (Pirates Of The Caribbean placed fifth behind Mexico and has taken $43m after eight weeks on release in the UK and Ireland) the result was lower than many expected.

It seems unlikely in a busy marketplace that Mexico will be able to match the takings of Rodriguez's current kids release, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over which is still going strong for BVI after nine weeks with $11.4m (£6.9m) and should continue to do so until the company launches Finding Nemo on Oct 10.

Warner Bros widened Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men from 10 West End sites to 313 nationwide for a $936,121 (£564,481) take that included nationwide previews from the previous weekend of $105,131 (£63,394) from 114 sites. Including its West End seven-day platform the comedy drama has taken $1.1m (£647,483) to date.

The distributor also put out local drama Young Adam on a high 133 sites. The well reviewed film stars Ewan McGregor (who will compete against himself from next weekend when 20 Century Fox opens romantic comedy Down With Love), Peter Mullan, Tilda Swinton and Emily Mortimer (also doubling up next weekend in Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things). It took eighth place in the UK/Ireland chart with a solid $379,257 (£228,692).

UIP's Ned Kelly did not fare so well. The story of the legendary Australian outlaw was another miss for star Heath Ledger, following a terrible run for Brian Helgeland's The Sin Eater, scoring a paltry $350,983 (£211,643) from 213 sites.

This pales in comparison to the debacle that was Columbia TriStar's Gigli. The atrociously reviewed Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez comedy saw daggers drawn by critics after it floundered in North America and audiences responded to the negative attention awarding the film a mere $24,357 (£14,687) and 26th place.

Playing at 73 locations the film managed a terrible $334 site average - though still not as bad as Warner Bros' Charlotte Church title I'll Be There (which saw a site average of $315 from its 78 screens when it opened in June).

Elsewhere in the box office, two acclaimed foreign animated title, Belleville Rendez-Vous and Spirited Away, both passed the £500,000 mark after five weeks and three weeks on release respectively. Belleville is distributed by Tartan Films in the UK while Spirited Away is handled by Optimum Releasing.