While the UK's top three films remained unchanged this weekend and children's films stormed cinemas, a German comedy was making waves on limited release.
Wolfgang Becker's critically acclaimed Good Bye, Lenin! - which has drawn over six million admissions and $41.6m (Euros 36.1m) in Germany - launched in the UK for UGC Films at just 26 sites to become the biggest German-language opener of all time in the territory.
Good Bye, Lenin! grossed $219,661 (£135,311) for an impressive location average of $8,448. This put it well ahead of recent German titles including 1999 hit Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) which claimed $115,159 (£70,938) from 20 sites over its launch weekend and Lola director Tom Tykwer's English-language production Heaven, which managed $126,607 (£77,990) from 39 in August last year.
Oscar-winning German drama Nowhere In Africa (Nirgendwo In Afrika), distributed by Optimum Releasing, just topped Lenin's opening weekend site average when it scored $38,008 (£23,413) from only four screens in April this year for an average of $9,502. However, Good Bye, Lenin! may well have surpassed Africa's total gross of $398,182 (£245,280) by this time next week.
An obvious comparison for Lenin would be UGC Films' 2002 release 8 Women. Francois Ozon's comedy musical mystery launched at 40 sites for an opening weekend of $183,646 (£113,126) in November last year and went on to gross $849,789 (£523,470). This shows just how strong Good Bye, Lenin!'s UK performance has been considering it earned a higher gross from 14 fewer sites and without the benefit of broadly recognisable actors such as Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert and Emmanuelle Beart.
UGC hopes to see Lenin go on to a cumulative gross in the region of $1.3m (£800,000), which considering 8 Women and Run Lola Run's ($688,808) final totals certainly seems attainable. If it succeeds it will be the distributor's biggest release since launching last October, ahead of Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing ($1.1m).
Another limited release performing well was Pathe's Buffalo Soldiers. Adding eight sites to its run the black comedy drama gained 48% on its first weekend to take $272,675 (£167,968) from 45 sites for a 10-day total of $649,659 (£400,190).
Meanwhile at the top of the chart UIP's The Hulk showed some strength in its second weekend on release, dropping a respectable 37% from its launch to retain pole position with $2.2m (£1.4m). Ang Lee's comic-book title has a 10-day cumulative score of $10.5m (£6.5m).
One of the best performers of the year, BVI's Bruce Almighty, held second place in its fifth week on release with another $1.95m (£1.2m) weekend. Dropping just 5% from the previous weekend the Jim Carrey comedy leap-frogged both X2: X-Men United and Johnny English in the last week to become the second highest earner released this year with $34.1m (£21m). Only Warner Bros' The Matrix Reloaded has taken more with $52.8m (£32.5m).
Bruce Almighty already ranks as Carrey's biggest UK success, ahead of Warner Bros' Batman Forever, which grossed $32.5m (£20m) in 1995; Entertainment's The Mask which scored $28.3m (£17.4m) in 1994; and UIP's 2000 release, The Grinch, which earned $24.7m (£15.2m).
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle held onto third place, dropping just 19% from the previous week, and now has a cumulative total of $17.5m (£10.8m).
Children's releases took up positions four to seven headed by UIP's animated launch Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas. The film scored $1.3m (£828,550) from 392 sites over its debut weekend, including $251,505 (£154,927) of previews from 325 locations.
Columbia TriStar's Daddy Day Care continued to show pulling power in fifth dropping a paltry 2% from the previous weekend (which in turn was just 4% down from its debut) to take $1.2m (£754,644). The Eddie Murphy comedy has grossed $6m (£3.7m) to date.
Another launch, 20th Century Fox's adventure Agent Cody Banks played 363 sites to take sixth place with $867,390 (£534,312), including $124,953 (£76,971) of previews from 294 locations. This was followed by BVI's Piglet's Big Movie in seventh which boasts a $2.45m (£1.5m) cumulative to date.