Buena Vista International's The Recruit held strong at the top of the UK chart for a second week, seeing off three new challengers over the weekend.
However, in another slow weekend for films on wide release, two foreign-language limited releases showed that audiences are still willing to turn out despite the improving weather.
The Recruit dropped off just 16% from its previous weekend this week and saw off challenges from stablemate Shanghai Knights, Entertainment's A Man Apart and Momentum's Blue Crush to take $1.2m (£770,562) from 378 sites - an average of $3,180. The thriller, which stars Al Pacino and Colin Farrell, has grossed $3.6m (£2.3m) to date.
The three major openers followed consecutively with Shanghai Knights playing best with $1.17m (£749,655) from 371 sites - a $3,152 average - in second. The sequel to 2000's Shanghai Noon, Knights played only slightly better than the original which grossed $1.16m (£746,131) from 372 sites upon opening in August 2000. Noon went on to gross $3.8m (£2.4m) and the follow-up seems likely to take a similar amount with the imminent school holidays likely to give the comedy a few weeks more interest.
Vin Diesel actioner A Man Apart took third on $823,292 (£527,730) from 329 sites and an underwhelming $2,502 site average after opening day and date. Equally uninspiring was surf-movie Blue Crush which managed $766,644 (£491,419) from 320 locations and an average of $2,396. Fox's Just Married rounded out the top five in its third week with $754,427 (£483,588) - a 20% drop from the previous weekend - bringing its cumulative score to $4.2m (£2.7m).
The openers catching the attention of UK cinema-goers, however, did not appear on the top 15 chart. Artificial Eye's Russian Ark and Optimum Releasing's Nowhere In Africa (Nirgendwo In Afrika) opened on limited release for $8,281 and $9,131 site averages respectively.
Oscar-winning best foreign-language film Nowhere In Africa debuted at just four sites - all in London's West End - on Friday (April 4) for an impressive $36,526 (£23,413).
Russian Ark took $66,245 (£42,463) from its eight sites to score Artificial Eye's best opening since Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) took $116,314 (£74,557) from 16 sites in November 2001. It is the independent distributor's best opening weekend location average since Haneke's Code Unknown opened with $16,885 (£10,823) at just two sites in May 2001 - an average of $8,443. Russian Ark is directed by Aleksandr Sokurov.
The total gross for the top 15 was just 0.1% down on last weekend and with the school Easter holidays kicking off on Friday (April 11) with the releases of BVI's The Jungle Book 2, Columbia TriStar's S Club Seeing Double and UIP's spy spoof Johnny English the UK box office should receive a much needed boost next weekend.