The UK/Ireland box office chart saw a new champion over the weekend as UIP's The Ring made a strong debut with $3.5m (£2.2m) from 396 sites - including previews of $478,046 (£300,213) from 311 locations.
The horror title, the only new entry to make the top 15 this weekend, showed by far the best site average of the week with $8,847. The UK was just one of several territories where the film, a remake of Japanese film Ringu, triumphed (see separate story).
Knocked down to second but still only dropping off a healthy 31% in its third weekend on release was Warner Bros' Two Weeks Notice. The romantic comedy, which stars Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, claimed a further $2.4m (£1.5m) from 413 for a good average of $5,833. The film has grossed $14.4m (£9m) to date in the UK.
Last weeks children's oriented opener, BVI's Treasure Planet, was just one of the kids titles taking advantage of school half-term holidays over the weekend. The Disney animation expanded to an additional 65 sites over the weekend to leap 33% with a three-day take of $1.9m (£1.2m). Playing at 474 venues the film took third position in the chart and scored an average of $3,973. Treasure Planet has a 10-day cumulative total of $5.6m.
UIP's The Wild Thornberrys Movie also improved over the previous weekend, adding 33 sites to its run and grossing $1.2m (£761,552) - a 23% rise. Even long-running live-action children's film, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets was able to benefit in its 15th week on release. The Warner Bros title saw figures rise 18% on the previous weekend for $169,102 (£106,196), despite playing at 39 fewer sites. The sequel has grossed $86m (£54m) to date in the UK.
Last week's major opener, 20th Century Fox's Daredevil, slipped three places and 45% to fifth this weekend. The superhero film is showing strong legs in the US but seems unable to reproduce that success to the same extent in the UK. Daredevil grossed $1.5m (£961,671) in its second weekend from 387 sites, bringing its 10-day tally to $6.2m (£3.9m).
Rounding out the top five was Steven Speilberg's Catch Me If You Can, which held fourth place, in its fourth week on release, to take $1.6m (£1m). Playing at 374 sites the film, which won a best supporting actor BAFTA award for Christopher Walken on Sunday, scored a good average of $4,311 and now has a cumulative score of $18.8m (£11.8m).
Launching in the UK after a 17 week run in Ireland, Peter Mullan's critically acclaimed The Magdalene Sisters re-entered the chart at 13 with $218,887 (£137,461). Showing at 45 sites the film scored a strong average of $4,864 per location. The drama played particularly well in Mullan's homeland of Scotland where it took $68,471 (£43,000) from nine sites (a $7,608) average - higher than London's West End which gave the film $62,914 (£39,510) from 10 sites. The Magdalene Sisters has grossed $1.7m (£1m) from the UK and Ireland to date.