A disappointing year for Columbia Pictures was turned around overnight with the sensational $40.5m opening this weekend for Charlie's Angels, the big screen version of the campy 70s TV series famous for launching the career of Farrah Fawcett Majors. The long-awaited action adventure directed by first-timer McG and starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Bill Murray lifted overall box office by 37% from the same weekend last year and marked the biggest non-summer opener in history.

Playing on 3,037 screens, Angels had a screen average of $13,335 per site and augurs well for the holiday season ahead - including two eagerly awaited films from Columbia - The Sixth Day with Arnold Schwarzenegger on Nov 17 and mountain-climbing adventure Vertical Limit on Dec 8.

Meanwhile October champion Meet The Parents fell just 13% to $13.1m in its fifth week bringing its total to $116.9m. It looks set to be one of the biggest money-spinners of the year.

Less impressive was DreamWorks' opener The Legend Of Bagger Vance, a golfing saga set in the 30s and directed by Robert Redford. Starring Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Jack Lemmon and Will Smith as mystical caddy Bagger Vance, the film has received only lukewarm reviews and its $12m opening doesn't show great promise for the film's run in the light of forthcoming blockbusters. 20th Century Fox has international distribution rights to the film.

Strongest of the limited releases, Universal Focus' Billy Elliot expanded on to 119 screens (from 37 last week) to take a strong $1.06m for a screen average of $8,890. And Artisan's NC-17-rated Requiem For A Dream went from four to 25 screens for a powerful screen average of $10,400.


Film (Distributor) International distribution Estimated weekend gross Estimated total to date

1 (-) Charlie's Angels (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $40.5m --

2 (1) Meet The Parents (Universal) DreamWorks SKG $13.1m $116.9m

3 (-) The Legend Of Bagger Vance (DreamWorks) 20th Century Fox $12m --

4 (3) Remember The Titans (Buena Vista) BVI $7m $96.8m

5 (2) Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (Artisan) Summit Entertainment $5.3m $22.1m

6 (2) Bedazzled (20th Century Fox) Fox International $4.7m $30.8m

7 (5) Pay It Forward (Warner Bros) Warner Bros/Bel Air $4.4m $25.2m

8 (6) The Little Vampire (New Line) Cometstone $3.6m $9.3m

9 (7) Lucky Numbers (Paramount) Canal Plus $2.2m $7.9m

10 (9) Jackie Chan's The Legend Of Drunken Master (Dimension) Miramax International $2.3m $7.3m