Romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice proved the big winner in the UK over Valentine's Day weekend despite the launch of 20th Century Fox's potential blockbuster, Daredevil.
The top placed Warner Bros comedy showed an impressive second week performance, dropping off just 11% from its opening weekend to take a weekend score of $3.5m (£2.2m). Playing at 416 sites Two Weeks Notice scored a strong average of $8,488.
A clever piece of scheduling by Warners saw the film open on Feb 7, a week ahead of St Valentine's Day on Feb 14. The placing paid off as hoped with Two Weeks Notice grossing $1.2m (£728,727) on Friday Feb 14, 23% higher than its opening Friday of $954,229 (£591,622). The film stars Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant.
As well as having the Valentine's Day boost, Two Weeks Notice may also have benefited as good counter-programming on Saturday for those trying to get away from all-day televised sport. Soccer and two Six-Nations rugby matches may well have helped the female-friendly rom com, and possibly hindered Daredevil with teenage and young males staying in.
Daredevil was still able to draw a strong $3.15m (£1.95m) from its 384 sites - including previews of $313,453 (£194,341). Despite achieving a good average of $8,204 the comic book adaptation was unable to repeat the success it saw in North America over the weekend in the UK - the only international territory to receive it day and date.
The lead character's lower name recognition outside the US, compared to Spider-Man, Batman, The Hulk etc, may have added to the lower-than-expected turnout which may well be overcome in other international territories where it can be sold off the success of the US launch.
Three other openers also debuted this week led by Buena Vista International's Treasure Planet. A launch weekend, at the head of many school's half-term holiday, of $1.4m (£888,084) gave the animated retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of adventure, Treasure Island, fifth place in the chart. Animated rival The Wild Thornberrys Movie, from UIP, took seventh place with $1m (£620,559) - a 36% fall from its opening weekend.
Awards favourite The Hours opened at 209 sites for BVI and claimed eighth place with a weekend gross of $994,473 (£616,573) and a site average of $4,758. If the drama triumphs at this weekend's BAFTA Film Awards it should reap the benefits in the coming weeks. Meanwhile one of The Hours' leading competitors at the BAFTAs, Chicago, dropped off just 9% this weekend (its eighth on release) to take sixth place. The musical has a cumulative total of $17.8m (£11m) in the UK.
Winchester Films' comedy Undercover Brother, starring Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards, also opened, taking $379,882 (£235,527) from 130 sites. The film took 11th place in the chart.
Next week sees the chart leaders facing strong competition from UIP's horror remake, The Ring. Other openers include the UK launch of Momentum Pictures' The Magdalene Sisters, Pathe's Brit-com The One And Only and BVI's Moonlight Mile - starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon.