New Line's long awaited TV adaptation Sex And The City defied low-ball predictions and elbowed Indiana Jones off the top perch to launch at number one through Warner Bros on an estimated $55.7m.

If the nay-sayers had been concerned about the breadth of the demographic that would turn out to support this film they needn't have been. While the field remained narrow - 85% of audiences were female - the sheer number that turned out was sufficient to deliver a knock-out blow.

The result was a welcome tonic for Warner Bros distribution chief Dan Fellman following Speed Racer's flop. Fellman revealed the depth of devotion among fans when he said a group of women hired out an entire cinema in Century City in Los Angeles for their friends. Men crept into the equation by Saturday as Sex And The City settled into a date movie.

This was the highest R-rated comedy launch, beating American Pie's $45.1m mark in 1999, and the fifth biggest opening of any R-rated release. Matched by an impressive international performance that generated $39m from 13 territories that only included four major markets, the Sex And The City brand will cross $100m worldwide by Monday.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon reprise their iconic roles as the four Manhattan friends. Michael Patrick King, who directed the episodic a number of times from 2002-04, wrote and directed.

Paramount currently has two films in the top ten surging their way towards the $300m mark. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, unexpectedly relieved of its number one status by Sex And The City, added $46m in its second weekend to soar past $200m and raise the tally to $216.9m after barely ten days.

Iron Man ranks fourth in its fifth weekend and stands at $276.6m following a $14m three-day haul.

Universal's horror film The Strangers opened well and set a new record for Universal's Rogue label. The tale of a couple terrorised in their own home stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman and grossed $20.7m. Bryan Bertino wrote and makes his feature directorial debut.

Next weekend's blockbusters-in-waiting are comedies: DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's Kung Fu Panda voiced by Jack Black and Sony's You Don't Mess With The Zohan starring Adam Sander and Rob Schneider.

Estimated Top 10 North America May 30-Jun 1, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (-) Sex And The City (New Line/Warner Bros) NLI $55.7m -

2 (1) Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (Paramount)
PPI $46m $216.9m

3 (-) The Strangers (Universal) UPI $20.7m -

4 (3) Iron Man (Paramount) PPI/Various $14m $276.6m

5 (2) The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $13m $115.7m

6 (4) What Happens In Vegas (Fox) Fox Int'l $6.9m $66.1m

7 (6) Baby Mama (Universal) UPI $2.2m $56.1m

8 (5) Speed Racer (Warner Bros) WBPI $2.1m $40.6m

9 (7) Made Of Honor (Sony) SPRI $2m $42.9m

10 (8) Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Universal) UPI $1m $60.5m.