British films were the toast of the town in the UK this weekend as Enigma and Mike Bassett: England Manager battled it out with holdover The Fast And The Furious and fellow opener The Score to claim top five positions. While unable to pose any threat to Steven Spielberg's fantasy A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which held the top spot in its second weekend on release, or 20th Century Fox powerhouse Moulin Rouge, the two local titles ably proved their pulling power with Bassett taking third place and Enigma coming in at four.
The competition was tight with Enigma, based on the novel by Robert Harris and starring Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet, scored $1.18m (£794,521) from 267 sites nationwide compared with Mike Bassett's slightly stronger $1.24m (£835,219) from one less site. In the capital the situation was very different with the World War II drama taking a massive $183,114 (£123,785) from 11 sites in London's west end while Entertainment's comedy grossed $49,584 (£33,519) from nine sites.
The week's other major opener, Pathe's The Score, also performed better in the west end. Coming in behind Enigma but ahead of Bassett, the heist thriller took $153,513 from 13 sites in the west end, but had to settle for sixth position, behind UIP's The Fast And The Furious, in the nationwide chart. This was also a close fight with the street racing actionner taking $1.1m in over its third weekend on release, bringing it's total gross to date to $7.4m, and the Pathe film grossing $1.09m. However The Score, which unites the powerhouse acting talents of Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando, played just 268 sites compared to The Fast And The Furious' 365 sites.
A.I. continued to perform in its second week taking a three-day gross of $2.3m, bringing its 10-day total to $7.1m. Now in its fourth week Moulin Rouge continues to draw crowds dropping just 13% from the previous week and recording $1.98m over the weekend. The musical's total UK gross stands at $15.7m so far.
Other openers to perform well included Columbia TriStar's The Brothers, which claimed number 14 in the chart with $87,638 from 35 sites; George Washington, distributed on four screens by the BFI, which took $20,195 and scored the best site average of any opener this week, $5,049; and Eros International's American Desi which managed $78,524 from 27 sites.