British director Gurinder Chadha scored another hit at theUK box office this week as her take on Jane Austen, Bride And Prejudice, opened top of the chart.

The romantic comedy's excellent $3m (£1.7m) launch may notquite have matched the debut of Bend It LikeBeckham, the director's 2002 smash which launched the careers of ER's Parminder Nagra and Hollywoodit-girl Keira Knightley, but with an $8,000 site average it left all othercurrent UK releases in the dust. Beckhamopened with $3.6m (£2m) from 384 sites.

Bride was lessstrong in Ireland, however, where it ranked just seventh.

Stealing the rom-com crowd Bride knocked Working Title's Wimbledondown to third. Meanwhile Entertainment's hit horror, Saw, surprised with a robust second weekend, playing just 16% downfrom its opening weekend. Strong word-of-mouth and reviews kept the film insecond place. It opens in North America at the end of the month.

Another horror title, sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse, took fourth on its opening this weekend.It outperformed Fox's Man On Firewhich ran a disappointing sixth.

Other local releases, Irish title Man About Dog on release in the Republic Of Ireland only where itretained the number one position, and UK drama Layer Cake also saw strong second weeks with minor drops.