The combination of Working Title hit Johnny English and Disney animated sequel The Jungle Book 2 may have helped the UK box office to a 50% week-on-week rise last weekend, but figures were still down for the comparative weekend in 2002.
The two new releases took top and second positions with $5.4m (£3.4m) and $2.3m (£1.4m) - including $696,050 of previews - respectively. However, the knock-on effect of these market leaders caused large drops in the holdovers that left the total box office for the top 15 11% down on the same weekend last year.
Amongst the previous week's openers BVI's Shanghai Knights and Momentum Pictures Blue Crush dropped 49% and 48% respectively, into fourth and sixth positions. After 10 days Shanghai Knights has earned $2.3m (£1.5m) in the UK and Blue Crush $1.5m (£983,335). Knights may suffer further next weekend when Pathe's Bulletproof Monk, starring Chow Yun-Fat, launches after the same audience.
Meanwhile another holdover that open the same week, Entertainment's A Man Apart, dropped 57% from its launch weekend. The Vin Diesel vehicle has taken $1.6m (£1m) after 10 days and currently resides in eighth place after falling five places on the chart.
BVI's The Recruit, starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell, held up better against English's onslaught falling 31% in its fourth weekend to take third place with $838,176 (£533,918). The thriller now has a total UK gross of $5.2m but could suffer next weekend when rival Farrell thriller, Phone Booth, launches for 20th Century Fox.
Two other openers made the chart, though disappointed, with Columbia TriStar's S Club (a UK pop band) vehicle Seeing Double fighting a losing battle against Jungle Book 2 for the Easter children's market. The film took fifth place with $531,214 (£338,383) from 395 sites for a weak average of $1,345.
Faring even worse was Warner Bros German animation The Little Polar Bear (Der Kleine Eisbar). The film could find little share of the kids market taking just $112,100 (£71,408) from 235 sites for an average of $477 per location. It was 15th in the chart.
Momentum Pictures scored a good opening for limited release Spanish title Intacto. The thriller launched into just 20 sites for a three-day weekend gross of $94,031 (£59,898) for a strong average of $4,702.
Continuing well in the limited arena was Artificial Eye's Russian Ark. Aleksandr Sokurov's film dropped just 11% from its opening weekend for a second weekend take of $59,022 (£37,597) from eight sites - an average of $7,378. After 10 days it has already taken $180,436 (£114,938).
Next weekend also sees the launches of James Cameron large-screen-format documentary Ghosts Of The Abyss and UIP's romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.