For the first time ever, the Coen brothers opened in first place with George Clooney starrer Intolerable Cruelty. The strong showing is a clear case of counter programming winning out as the smart throwback comedy overtook the flashy race car comic book adaptation Michel Vaillant.

Vaillant, a Europa Corp. production garnered 460,777 admissions surprising many industry watchers who thought it would easily break the 500,000 mark its first week out. Directed at a young audience, however, the film was outdistanced.

Intolerable Cruelty looks set to beat previous Coen brothers films which have performed well - but apart from their other Clooney vehicle O Brother Where Art Thou' have never broken the coveted 1 million admissions barrier.

Meanwhile, with no other new films in the top 20, Goodbye Lenin! continues its amazing run re-entering the top ten with only an 18% drop from last week. The Coen brothers may also have put movie goers in a nostalgic Cannes mood with Gus Van Sant's Palme d'Or winner Elephant moving up to the ninth spot from its berth at ten last week while Clint Eastwood's competition film and Oscar hopeful Mystic River passed the one million admissions mark.