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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 13:43 GMT
Record UK opening for Apocalypto
A scene from Apocalypto
Apocalypto shows the decline of central America's Mayan civilisation
Mel Gibson's bloody historical epic Apocalypto has claimed the UK box office record for the biggest opening weekend for a foreign language film.

The movie, spoken in a Mayan dialect, has taken 1.3m since Friday.

The previous record-holder, Chinese martial arts movie Hero, took 1.05m during its opening weekend in 2004.

Ben Stiller's comedy Night at the Museum topped the UK box office chart for the second weekend running, taking almost 3m from Friday to Sunday.


Apocalypto depicts the decline of a Mayan kingdom and features brutal scenes of human sacrifice.

The film entered the North American box office chart at number one last month and has earned a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign language film.

It is Gibson's first outing behind the camera since his 2004 religious epic, The Passion of the Christ.

The controversial retelling of the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life featured dialogue in Aramaic and was a commercial success.

The release of Apocalypto was overshadowed by its director's anti-Semitic outburst during a drink-driving arrest in July, for which he later apologised.

Reviews have largely focused on the film's extreme violence which shows throats cut, people beheaded and still-beating hearts ripped from the victims of human sacrifice.

New entries

Night at the Museum, in which Stiller plays a security guard facing exhibits that come to life, has topped the North American box office chart for three consecutive weekends.

Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum topped the UK chart on its opening weekend

Following behind it in the UK chart were Employee of the Month, Apocalypto and Miss Potter placed second, third and fourth on the UK chart on their opening weekends, taking 1.8m, 1.4m and 1.1m respectively.

In fifth place was Casino Royale, the James Bond film's weekend takings of 1.1m taking its total UK earnings during eight weeks on release to almost 52m.

White Noise 2: The Light was the other new entry in the top 10, placing seventh with 700,000 takings.

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02 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
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