Director Wes Anderson's latest comedy The Royal Tenenbaums has recorded impressive figures on its opening weekend in the UK. Grossing $997,187 (£700,025) over its first three days, the film took fourth place in the chart. However playing at 159 sites, the least of any film in this week's top 10, Tenenbaums managed a powerful site average of $6,272 - the highest of any film on general release at the weekend.
The critically lauded ensemble comedy, which features a host of famous names including Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Danny Glover and Anjelica Huston, was particularly popular in London's West End. Playing at 20 sites in the area the film claimed $319,396 (£224,216) at the weekend, for an average of $15,970 per site. Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson (who also appears in the film) are nominated in the Original Screenplay category at the Academy Awards this weekend. The opening for The Royal Tenenbaums alone eclipses the total gross of Anderson's last film, 1999's Rushmore, which took $588,326 (£413,005) for distributor Buena Vista International - which is also releasing Tenenbaums.
Also opening well in second place, despite largely negative reviews, was Columbia TriStar's 13 Ghosts. The horror, which features Scream's Matthew Lillard and American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth, opened to a three-day figure of $1.05m (£738,210) at 280 sites. With a solid average of $3,756, 13 Ghosts placed third in the chart.
After a recent line-up including Oscar contenders The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring ($86.6m to date), Gosford Park ($12.8m) and Ali ($5.9m), distributor Entertainment saw a disappointing opening at the weekend for its drama, Life As A House. Starring Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas and Hayden Christensen (who will be seen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack Of The Clones in May and received a Golden Globe nomination earlier in the year for his role in Life As A House) the film grossed just $11,274 (£7,914) from 25 sites for a poor average of $451.
Ocean's Eleven ($1.9m) and Monsters, Inc. ($1.3m) held the first and second positions. Their total grosses now stand at $29.5m and $50.3m respectively. A Beautiful Mind rounded out the top five with a weekend take of $918,997 (£645,136) - it has now grossed $5.8m in the UK.