In a repeat of recent events at the US box office, Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas held on to pole position in the UK this weekend, seeing off the opening of Buena Vista International's 102 Dalmatians which came in at number three. Both first and second places remained unchanged with Columbia TriStar's Charlie's Angels also continuing to pull in the crowds in its third week on release.
The Grinch saw takings drop off just 17% as it grossed $3,692,419 (£2,547,769) from 436 sites. The film, distributed by UIP, had the highest site average for the weekend of any film in the chart, taking $8,469 per site. It remains to be seen whether the Jim Carrey vehicle will be able to mirror the box office domination it has shown domestically as it faces strong competition next weekend from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The 6th Day and Robert De Niro comedy Meet The Parents.
Charlie's Angels also managed to remain ahead of all openers taking $1,958,896 (£1,351,638) from 418 sites for a strong average of $4,686.
This week's biggest opener, 102 Dalmatians, failed to pose much threat to The Grinch although it took a respectable $1,673,359 (£1,154,618) from 400 sites. The sequel to 101 Dalmatians, which grossed $29,941,348 (£20,659,530) from its December 1996 release, again stars Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil.
Other openers made little impression over the weekend. Only Warner Bros' The Art Of War opened wide to take sixth place with $240,333 (£165,830) from 148 sites. However, three other openers all recorded higher site averages than the Wesley Snipes-starrer despite not making the top 15.
UIP's The Man Who Cried, directed by Sally Potter and starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, grossed $37,943 (£26,181) from eight sites for an average of $4,743 and came in at number 16. Pathe's Les Destinees Sentimentales managed $13,736 (£9,478) from just four sites for an average of $3,425, and Momentum Pictures' Cecil B Demented, directed by John Waters, took $26,474 (£18,267) from 10 for a $2,648 average. Rounding out the openers was another Pathe release, The Escort, which garnered a poor $23,938 (£16,517) from 23 sites.