The top three chart positions remained unchanged this week in the UK as The Santa Clause 2 took advantage of Harry Potter's 42% drop off, Pathe launched Brit-horror Deathwatch into fourth and Bond was neither shaken nor stirred from its hold on pole position.
Die Another Day, distributed by 20th Century Fox, led in its third week with $5.4m (£3.4m) from 443 sites after a 36% drop-off from the previous week. The film has grossed $37.3m (£23.7m) and will easily pass The World Is Not Enough's $45m (£28.6m) to become the highest grossing of the franchise in the UK.
Retaining second position Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets claimed a further $4.2m (£2.7m) from 524 sites over the weekend for a running total of $64.6m (£41m). However the Warner Bros' children's fantasy sequel suffered a further fall of 42% in takings this weekend, the exact same drop off as Philosopher's Stone suffered in its fourth weekend. Despite four days of previews compared to two, and a stronger launch weekend at more sites and on more prints, Chamber Of Secrets is already lagging slightly behind Philosopher's Stone, which had grossed $68.2m (£43.3m) over the same period on release.
Buena Vista International took advantage of the fall in Potter figures to push its family Christmas comedy The Santa Clause 2 out to a further 16 sites and increased its weekend takings 23% from its launch weekend. Landing third place with $1.8m (£1.2m) at 378 sites the Tim Allen film has taken $3.8m (£2.4m) after 10 days on release. The original The Santa Clause, released in 1995, grossed $10.1m (£6.4m) at the UK box office.
After a successful international launch in Hong Kong for Lark Films Distribution, where it grossed $473,000 after four weeks, Deathwatch was released in the UK by Pathe this week to take fourth position. The horror title, which stars Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell, took $527,019 (£334,657) from 193 sites for a so-so average of $2,731.
Also making the chart was Fox's limited release The Dancer Upstairs. The directorial debut of actor John Malkovich, The Dancer Upstairs received a strong reception in the UK from just 24 screens taking $97,043 (£61,622) for an average of $4,043 per print and 13th position. Its screen average was the highest of any top 15-ranked new release, but was slightly behind those of Blue Dolphin's re-release of The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes ($4,184 from one screen) and Artificial Eye's Monday Morning (Lundi Matin) which grossed $12,649 from three venues for an average of $4,216.
Despite landing in the chart, at 14, Columbia TriStar's animated Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights was something of a non-starter, claiming a paltry $76,283 (£48,440) from 83 sites for an average of just $919 per location.
Meanwhile director Phillip Noyce's double header of The Quiet American and Rabbit-Proof Fence continued to play well for BVI. The Quiet American dropped off just 4% from its opening weekend to take $362,487 (£230,179) at 99 sites. Gaining one place to claim fifth the Oscar-tipped drama scored a good site average of $3,661. Rabbit-Proof Fence, now in its fifth week on release, retained 11th place with $118,328 (£75,138) at 95 sites - only 16% down from the previous week. The film now has a cumulative gross of $2m (£1.2m).