For the third week in a row French heartstring tugger Les Choristes, to be released in the US by Miramax, is at the top spot with a total gross of just over $15m.

Mel Gibson's hotly debated The Passion Of The Christ took the number two position with a strong 613,700 tickets sold and grew stronger as the week went on.

Agents Secrets, from triple whammy of director Frederic Schoendoerffer and married stars Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel opened in third place with a strong per screen average of $7,229.

Other new entries included counter-programming efforts L'Incruste, a French comedy from Warner Bros. with 208,312 tickets sold on 400 screens, Kiki's Delilvery Service from Japan at number 6 with a respectable 146,351 on 313 screens and The Cat In The Hat at a low number 15 with only 44,812 tickets sold on 197 screens. Things could get better for the film however as school vacations commence this week