Overall box office takings were noticeably down after the highs of Christmas and New Year, although they're likely to pick up again next week with the release of The Last Samurai and two Chinese New Year films.

Three new releases - one each from the US, Thailand and Hong Kong - failed to supplant Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King from the top of the chart, although none of the three opened on a wide number of screens. Both The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Thai horror pic The Unborn achieved respectable screen averages of $11,075 and $11,574 respectively.

Hong Kong-China co-production, In-Laws, Outlaws, fared less well grossing $32,415 from 14 screens. Based on a mainland TV series, the film is a comedy about local boys who become romantically involved with foreign women. It probably has a larger audience in Southern China where the TV series is a ratings hit.