Warner Bros' latest family release Cats & Dogs has proved a big hit at the UK box office opening last Friday (August 3) to take an excellent three-day gross of $5.3m (£3.7m) from 452 sites, including previews of $793,401 (£555,381) from 303 sites. With a site average of $11,717, the film becomes Warner Bros.' third best opener after Batman & Robin and Batman Forever.
Cats & Dogs, which features animatronic and real animals alongside Jeff Goldblum and Elizabeth Perkins, will hope to corner the children's market for the rest of the summer period now that UIP's Shrek has been open for six weeks. However Shrek is still performing well taking $1.4m (£956,852) over the weekend, bringing its total gross to $31.9m (£22.3m).
Despite a record breaking opening in North America at the weekend, Entertainment's Rush Hour 2, the sequel to the 1998 hit also starring martial-arts master Jackie Chan and comedian Chris Tucker, had to settle for second place in the UK chart. High-kicking its way to a powerful $3.3m (£2.3m) from 325 sites, however, the action comedy scored a very strong $10,049 site average.
While Cats & Dogs and Rush Hour 2 fought it out for the top of the chart another opener was out to impress. Columbia TriStar opened its ground-breaking computer-animated feature Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on just one screen, London's Odeon Leicester Square, where it took a massive $62,209 (£43,546). The film, which features the voice talents of ER actress Ming-Na, James Woods, Alec Baldwin (also a voice in Cats & Dogs) and Donald Sutherland among others, managed to score a place in the chart at 14, and looks good to perform well when it opens nationwide next weekend.
The only other opener this week was Momentum Pictures' Gohatto. Although it did not make the chart the film still showed strong figures from the two sites it played, taking an opening weekend gross of $18,887 (£13,221), a site average of $9,444.
The top five was rounded out by Jurassic Park III, Swordfish and Shrek. The highest percentage increase of the week came from Metrodome's Together (Tillsammans), which remained at the 22 sites it held last week but saw a huge rise of 42%. Shrek also rose 3% despite playing 22 less sites and the unstoppable Bridget Jones's Diary rose 2% from the previous weekend despite losing 47 sites.