Borat rules the roost again

It was a very good week for Borat and a very bad one – because it’s apparently the law that you have to make a joke about the film’s title – for Ridley Scott’s A Good Year.

Yes, Borat Sagdiyev continues to take the great US of A by storm as his movie-film extends its release to more cinemas across the country and manages the not-very-surprising feat of earning more in its second week than its first. With $29 million this weekend, the party can continue in his village.

There’ll be a much more sombre mood in the studios and homes of those responsible for this weekend’s new arrivals. The highest new entry – Stranger Than Fiction – could only scrape into fourth place after the top three films held on (see below). The brainy Will Ferrell comedy took just $14.1 million, despite launching on more than 2,000 screens. And The Return, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s latest stab at horror managed just $4.8 million and eighth place. Let’s hope SMG worked cheap.

Still, that was a blockbuster opening compared to A Good Year. The Russell Crowe film about a stockbroker who settles in France clearly didn’t spark the American imagination, opening to just $3.8 million, despite arriving in more cinemas than The Return. Thank goodness Fox has Borat. Oh, and one other “new” arrival – caused by Cate Blanchett drama Babel expanding its screen total. The Alejandro González Iñárritu film has earned $7.5 million so far.

The rest of the charts looked quite similar to last week, particularly at the top as Borat, The Santa Clause 3 and Flushed Away all managed to stay where they were, something that rarely happens at the US box office.

Santa’s strong second-week performance has us worried - perhaps we were hasty with that direct-to-DVD prediction for the fourth movie…. Run away!

Meanwhile, The Departed and The Prestige held strong – with The Departed knifing The Aviator and stealing its top-earning crown, and Saw III hovering in the middle of the charts at five, despite dropping in earning power for a second week.