BuenaVista International (BVI) scored a hit this weekend with its

Alaskan-setthriller Insomnia. Opening with an impressive $1.8m

(£1.16m)over the three-day weekend, the film saw off all comers to claim the

numberone slot in the chart.

Thelatest film from British director Christopher Nolan (whose previous

titleMemento grossed $2.4m for Pathe in 2000 and went on to build a

strongfollowing on video) Insomnia played 264 sites scoring a powerful

averageof $6,800 - over $2,500 per screen higher than the film with the next

highestaverage of the week, second-placed The Guru. The thriller grossed

$327,768(£211,738) from 16 sites in London's West End alone.

Aswell as outperforming recent potential blockbusters such as UIP's

The Sum Of All Fears, which opened with $1.77m (£1.14m) at 346 sitesthree

weeksago, Insomnia also gave BVI its second biggest opening weekend of the

year- behind February's Monsters, Inc. which grossed $10.0m (£6.5m) in its

openingthree days. This put it ahead of the company's entire summer slate

whichincluded Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams (now at seven after four

weekson release with a tally of $5.1m) and last week's release Reign

Of Fire ($3.6m after 10 days on release and currentlyfourth-placed).

Insomniafollows a Los Angeles cop's sleepless investigation of a small-town

Alaskanmurder he is sent to investigate during the Alaskan summer period of

24-hourdaylight. It is a remake of Erik Skjoldbjaerg's 1997 Norwegian film of

thesame name which featured Stellan Skarsgard in the lead. Nolan's version

boastsa stellar cast including Academy Award-winners Al Pacino, Robin

Williamsand Hilary Swank.

Theweek's other openers fared less well. Columbia TriStar's comedy The

Sweetest Thing, starring Cameron Diaz, disappointed with $917,526

(£592,722)from 307 sites to take fifth position. Equally lacklustre was 20th

CenturyFox's Windtalkers. Directed by John Woo and starring Nicolas Cage, the

waraction-drama managed only ninth position with $600,947 (£388,212) at


Howeverfailing even to secure a place in the top 15, the real disaster

camein the form of critically-mauled Eddie Murphy comedy, Pluto Nash from

WarnerBros. With just $135,418 (£87,480) from 159 sites the film achieved the

dubioushonour of having one of the year's 15 weakest site averages at

$852per site.

UIP'sThe Guru played well in its second week, dropping off 33% from

itsopening taking $1.6m (£1.0m) from 371 sites for an average of $4,253.

Columbia'sMen In Black II placed third with $1.2m (£782,639) from 428

sitesover the weekend bringing its total UK gross to $31.4m (£20.3m) after


MIIBis one of three films, with Warner's Scooby-Doo and Fox's Minority

Report, to pass the $30m (£20m) mark in the UK during the pastweek. Five

otherstitles had already succeeded in doing so in 2002: Monsters, Inc.,

Ocean's Eleven, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, Spider-Man and

Austin Powers In Goldmember.