Despite some of the most negative reviews ever experienced by a film in the UK, Entertainment Film Distributor's comedy Sex Lives Of The Potato Men escaped a complete mauling at the box office over the weekend.

The 18-certificate comedy managed an okay $663,785 (£355,125) from its 233 locations - placing it ninth in the UK top 20.

The result is likely thanks to the popularity of the two stars on whom it was sold - comedian Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook, who had a starring role in hit sitcom The Office.

Reviewers savaged the film ahead of its opening, with The Times calling it "one of the two most nauseous films ever made" and "a sump of untreated dung".

Such a wave of negative reviews has probably not been seen since last year's Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez flop Gigli, which garnered a poor $24,452 from 73 screens upon opening.

It is not the first time that TV comedians have proved that an opening weekend can be critic proof if marketing finds the right audience. In 2000 Guest House Paradiso, a spin-off of UK comedy show Bottom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, was largely panned by critics but opened on $1.26m at 293 sites.

However, it spent little time in the charts, suffering from a quick drop-off.