Although the chart was dominated by the launch of Columbia TriStar's Men In Black II the talking point of the UK weekend box office was Optimum Releasing's Lost In La Mancha.
A documentary following the ill-fated production of Terry Gilliam's abandoned project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, La Mancha achieved a stunning opening of $67,228 (£42,824) from just 10 sites to take tenth position in the chart.
This qualified the film as the fourth highest documentary opening of the past 12 years behind 1991's phenomenal In Bed With Madonna ($131,984 from just three sites), 1997 Muhammad Ali documentary When We Were Kings ($104,077 at 19 sites) and Wim Wenders' Buena Vista Social Club ($71,520 from seven sites in1999).
La Mancha made the top five of films playing in London's West End with a massive three-day take of $48,000 (£30,576) at six sites for an $8,000 site average.
Lost In La Mancha is directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, who also made a documentary about the production of Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys which did not secure a theatrical release in the UK.
It continues a strong year for documentaries in the UK following Artificial Eye's Cool And Crazy ($85,509), UIP's Robbie Williams documentary Nobody Someday ($97,146), Columbia TriStar's still-running skateboarding documentary Dogtown And Z-Boys ($106,361) and another Optimum release Biggie And Tupac ($142,284) which just misses out on the top ten documentaries in the UK chart (see below).
The year should continue to see growth in the documentary market with a host of high profile titles to come including Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine, which played in competition at Cannes this year, and The Kid Stays In The Picture, about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans, from Momentum Pictures.
Men In Black II saw a powerful opening, grossing a massive $7.7m (£4.9m) at 512 sites over the three-day weekend and $9.7m (£6.2m) since its opening on Thursday Aug 1. The sequel scored a massive three-day average of $14,982, however it did not come close to matching the launch of the original film which took $11.1m (£7.1m) from 417 sites in 1997. The film reunites stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones with their Men In Black director Barry Sonnenfeld.
Also impressing on its debut was Metrodome's 14 print release of Lovely And Amazing. The comedy, which stars Catherine Keener and Brit-actresses Brenda Blethyn and Emily Mortimer, took a strong $55,703 (£35,483) for an average of $3,979 and 12th place in the chart. It just missed out on a West End top five position taking $36,716 (£23,388) from seven sites and sixth place.
Rounding out the nationwide top five were a group of high profile US holdovers which benefited from awful weather over the weekend. Austin Powers In Goldmember dropped off 33%, into second place, from its opening weekend taking $5.1m and bringing its ten-day total to $20.6m. Scooby-Doo took third falling a mere 9% from last week and now boasts an accumulative tally of $25m. Minority Report landed fourth place with $1.277m and a 10% drop off from last week while Columbia's Stuart Little 2 saw a week-on-week fall of just 7% to take fifth position with $1.276m.
Top Ten Documentaries in the UK 1991-2002
Title (Distributor)/ Release date/ Total UK gross
1 In Bed With Madonna (Rank)/ 19 July 1991/ $1,956,154
2 Buena Vista Social Club (FilmFour)/ 17 Sept 1999/ $1,499,651
3 When We Were Kings (Polygram)/ 16 May 1997/ $848,057
4 Microcosmos (Pathe)/ 16 May 1997/ $408,532
5 Kurt And Courtney (Downtown)/ 3 July 1998/ $253,997
6 Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Blue Dolphin)/ 16 March 2001/ $194,943
7 The Filth And The Fury (FilmFour)/ 12 May 2000/ $184,116
8 32 Films About Glenn Gould (Electric)/ 17 June 1994/ $179,480
9 One Day In September (Helkon SK)/ 19 May 2000/ $176,553
10 American Movie (Col TriStar)/ 7 July 2000/ $143,146