Ice Age: THE MELTDOWN heated up the US box office with a mammoth $70.5 million (GBP40.3 million) take this weekend (01-02APR06). The ICE AGE sequel had the second biggest opening for a non-summer, non-holiday, season release, behind Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ. Among other films opening, ATL, about four high school friends in Atlanta, Georgia, opened at number three with a surprisingly strong debut at $12.5 million (GBP7.1 million). The buzz surrounding Basic Instinct 2 failed to translate into box office dollars, and debuted with a disappointing $3.2 million (GBP1.8 million) take, landing it firmly in the number 10 spot. INSIDE MAN starring Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster, dropped one place to number two, with $15.7 million (GBP9 million). The final new box office entry, zombie film SLITHER, opened at number eight with $3.7 (GBP2.1million).