Le Barzellette, the latest Italian comedy to be produced by the all-powerful Aurelio De Laurentiis, opened at number one at the box office, becoming the first picture in three weeks to knock : The Return Of The King off the top spot.

Directed by Carlo Vanzina, Le Barzellette, a collection of Italian comic sketches, grossed a superb $3,259,522 from a wide release on 401 screens, registering a massive screen average of $7,853 for distributor Filmauro.

The weekend's four other new openers saw Something's Gotta Give slip into third place behind The Return Of The King, which dropped a big 52% on its third weekend. The Nancy Meyers comedy, which stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, posted earnings of $1,604,306 from 246 screens, grossing a healthy $6,522 per screen for Warner Bros Italia.

Meanwhile, Eagle Pictures' Beyond Borders opened disappointingly in ninth place, posting a screen average of just $1,506. Overall, the epic tale of two star-crossed lovers which features Eagle Pictures' favourite Angelina Jolie, grossed a mere $217,206 from 144 screens.