Three new films impressed in the UK this week while three more were left out in the cold. It was little surprise after it opened top in the Republic of Ireland and took $2.6m (£1.4m) in UK nationwide previews last weekend that Starsky & Hutch would top the table this week. Opening wide at 450 locations BVI's comedic remake of the cult '70s cop show boasted a stunning site average of more than $11,000.
Following gushing reviews Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi managed an all-time biggest opening for Distributor Artificial Eye with $246,121 from just 47 prints.
This was ahead of 1994 release Farewell My Concubine which opened on just eight screens with £76,990 on July 1, 1994. French classic Cyrano De Bergerac, released on Nov 1, 1991, earned £74,552 on opening before going on to become Artificial Eye's highest earner with £2.5m.
The Japanese title, which resurrects the popular blind samurai character long played by Shintaro Katsu who died in 1997, scored a mighty $5,237 location average. Kitano stars as well as directs.
The 18-certificate film is just the beginning of a slew of gory and violent 18-certificate titles to launch in the UK, with Icon's The Passion Of The Christ and Entertainment's Dawn Of The Dead both due next weekend. Dawn Of The Dead has already clawed in $550,000 (£300,000) from 243 site previews on Friday and Saturday and looks set for a strong opening.
Winchester Films' western Open Range performed solidly for fifth place on the chart. The film was directed by Kevin Costner and stars Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Bening.
Meanwhile school was out for high-school comedy-drama The Perfect Score. The presence of current hot-property Scarlett Johansson was not enough to lift the poorly reviewed film into the top 20 and it landed one place off the table with a weak average of just $749 from 70 sites.
Faring only slightly better was Redbus' Grand Theft Parsons which went out on 21 screens and landed 24th place with a disappointing $1,844 average. Redbus also released Edward Burns' Ash Wednesday on just one print at the UGC Shaftesbury Avenue where it attracted just $690 (£376) of business.