UK cinemas enjoyed record-breaking performance this weekend, raking in $56.8m (£28.11m) at the box office thanks to impressive returns from new releases The Simpsons Movie and Transformers.

Fox's much-awaited Simpsons flick grossed $18.6m (£9.2m) over the three-day period from 499 screens. This brings its total of $27.5m (£13.6m) including Thursday previews, catapulting it to the top of the weekend chart.

Paramount Pictures International's robot epic Transformers generated $9.1m (£4.9m) from 456 screens over the three-day period, bringing its total to $17.6m (£8.7m) including last weekend's Saturday and Sunday previews and Thursday previews.

Based solely on the three-day takings on July 27-29, this weekend generated $40.6m (£20.1m) from cinemas in the UK and Ireland - the highest three-day total ever in the territory. This just beats the previous highest weekend (November 18-20) which generated £19.5m ($39.5m) after the opening of Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.

And UK distributor Metrodome released Sherrybaby at the weekend which entered the chart at number eight in the UK, taking $70,762(£34,965) from 13 screens.

The indie drama, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, was number three for new openers at the weekend.

Metrodome's general manager Sara Frain said she was 'delighted' with the film's performance and said positioning the film as the arthouse alternative to two big tentpole openers 'really paid off'.

Rupert Gavin, CEO of UK exhibitor Odeon said: 'The cinema market continues to show positive growth. This record weekend clearly shows that it remains one of the nation's top entertainment choices.'