M Night Shyamalan made it four in a row when his latestfilm, The Village, took the lead atthe UK box office when it was released wide across the territory last weekend.

Claiming the top spot from last week's leader The Bourne Supremacy - which saw a 34% dropoff from the previous weekend discounting previews - The Village was still a long way off the director's best UKperformances.

The Village beatShyamlan's second feature Unbreakable,which grossed $3.6m (£2m) off 413 sites upon release on Dec 29, 2000 beforegoing on to rake in $20.7m (£11.35m). However, even excluding their previewsboth Signs and the director'sbreakthrough film, The Sixth Sense,fared better.

The Sixth Senseopened wide across the UK on Nov 12, 1999 (after a week's platform at London'sOdeon Leicester Square and eight additional west end locations) taking $6.7m(£3.7m) from 430 sites without its $$2m (£1.1m) of previews. It went on toclaim $46.9m (£25.7m) in the UK.

Signs launched onSep 13, 2002 to take $6.3m (£3.5m) from 443 sites excluding its $0.56m (£0.31m)of previews. It went on to gross $29.6m (£16.2m).

The territory is traditionally a stronghold for Shyamalanhaving supplied the director with one of his top international grosses on eachof his passed three films and accounting for an average 7%-8% of his films'worldwide grosses.

BVI will look to the UK performance to suggest how the filmcould fare internationally. The UK accounted for over 11% of both The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable's international cumulative grosses and 14% of Signs international tally.