Steven Soderbergh's critically-lauded Traffic opened on a high this weekend to take second position at the UK box office. The Entertainment release, which features celebrity couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as Golden Globe winner Benicio Del Toro, scored an impressive three-day gross of $1,813,539 (£1,244,088) for a site average of $7,494. This gave Traffic the highest site average of the weekend beating both Cast Away and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Cast Away succeeded in holding Traffic off the top spot, continuing its reign for a third weekend. The desert-island drama took $2,679,348 (£1,838,033) from 394 sites for a site average of $6,800. The UIP film faces strong competition for the top slot next week from Mel Gibson in What Women Want, distributed by Icon Film Distribution.
Other openers did not fare so well over the weekend. Warner Bros' sentimental drama Pay It Forward claimed eighth position with $520,678 (£357,185) from 239 sites, pulling in a fair site average of $2,179. 20th Century Fox saw a disappointing opening for Woman On Top. The film, which stars hot property Penelope Cruz, took just $92,637 (£63,549) from 105 sites for a lacklustre average of $882.
The top five was rounded out by Vertical Limit, Meet The Parents and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The latter two continue to perform strongly, both seeing only small percentage drops from the previous weekend, 22% and 11% respectively. Late last week Crouching Tiger became the highest grossing foreign-language film ever in the UK.