UK TV comedian Steve Coogan launched himself on the big-screen at the weekend with The Parole Officer. Pulling in a strong $1.3m (£902,028) from 288 sites, the comedy saw a site average of $4,468 - better than either Jurassic Park III or Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Arriving at number five in the UK chart the healthy figures came despite mixed reviews for the film. The film also stars Lena Headey, previously seen in Gossip with X-Men's James Marsden and Kate Hudson and soon to be seen in Neil LaBute's Possession which stars Gwyneth Paltrow, and Om Puri. Puri, who as well as starring in many Bollywood productions was recently seen in 1999 UK hit East Is East.
However, The Parole Officer was unable to secure box office dominance. With the wide release, growing from one to 382 sites, Columbia TriStar saw its Final Fantasy take fourth place with $1.4m (£954,488) from 382 sites. Meanwhile Cats & Dogs, Rush Hour 2 and Jurassic Park III held their previous week's top three places. Most impressive of the three leaders was box office champ Warner Bros' canine/feline feud flick Cats & Dogs, which dropped off a mere 11% from its opening three-day total.
A slew of foreign fare also opened well on a weekend with miserable weather, where The Parole Officer was the only new wide release. Two Indian films added to the current wave of impressive Bollywood performers of late. Yeh Raaste Hein Pyar Ke opened at 21 sites and took 11th position in the UK chart with $99,238 (£69,566), a site average of $4,726. Coming in at number 14, but showing a slightly higher site average, was Dil Chanta Hai with $82,168 (£57,600) from 17 sites - a $4,833 average.
Columbia TriStar's Brazilian release Me You Them scored the best site average of the three-day weekend (August 10-12) grossing $55,462 (£38,879) from a paltry 6 sites for a massive average of $9,244.
Artificial Eye scored a good $4,146 (£2,906) from just one print with The Farewell. However Metrodome's Help! I'm A Fish was less successful, taking $116,845 (£81,908) from 157 sites for a weak average of just $744. In contrast, another Metrodome release, the five-week old Together (Tillsammans) continues to generate impressive figures. Still in the top fifteen, the film dropped just 8% from its previous weekend and has grossed $665,398 to date.