Immortals and Arthur Christmas lead a number of underwhelming debuts at the UK box office.

Universal’s Immortals narrowly snagged top spot at the UK box office this weekend after grossing $3.5m (£2.2m) from 428 screens at an average of $8,080 (£5,062) while Sony’s Arthur Christmas came in second on $3.4m (£2.1m) from 450 screens at an average of $7,331 (£4,592).

Clearly, neither big-budget feature connected significantly with UK audiences. After being billed as the next 300, Immortals took $4m (£2.5m) less than Zack Snyder’s epic.

Despite positive reviews and the boost of 3D ticket prices Arthur Christmas is easily the weakest opener of Aardman’s four features to date.

The latter may well have profitted from waiting until closer to the Christmas holidays despite festive competition from the likes of Happy Feet 2.

In Time and Tower Heist held on with $1.5m (£915,584) and $1.3m (£825,743) respectively while Entertainment’s The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp posted a disappointing debut of $970,638 (£608,055) in sixth at an average of $2,996 (£1,877) across 324 screens.

The total is the smallest ever for a Depp film to open on more than 300 screens - 2004 duo Finding Neverland and Secret Window both managed more from 324 and 349 respectively - and is the star’s smallest feature opening since 2005 flop The Libertine (203 screens). It was still an improvement on Depp’s previous Hunter S Thompson feature adaptation Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas which only managed $1.1m (£706,258) from its entire run in 1998.

StudioCanal’s The Awakening scared up $435,922 (£273,083) from 139 while Lionsgate’s Trespass opened in 12th on $395,814 (£247,957) from only 91 screens. The latter was lead Nicolas Cage’s first film in ten to open in fewer than 100 locations.

Eros’ newcomer Rockstar made $294,664 (£184,592) from only 53 screens and Artificial Eye’s Wuthering Heights took $250,509 (£156,931) from 81.

eOne’s Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn will be the big draw among this week’s new releases. Paramount’s action-thriller Justice, starring Nicolas Cage, is the only other saturation release. Revolver’s Australian crime-drama Snowtown gets a limited run.