Comedian STEVE MARTIN'S portrayal of INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU in The Pink Panther pounced to the top of the US box office with a $21.7 million (GBP12 million) in its opening weekend (10-12FEB06).

The remake of the 1963 comedy classic opened to mixed reviews, but was able to sneak past horror film Final Destination 3, which grossed $20.1 million (GBP11.2 million).

Animated feature Curious George, based on the classic children's books about a mischievous monkey and the Man in the Yellow hat, landed in the third spot with $15.3 million (GBP8.5 million) in it's first week of release.

Also new to the box office was Harrison Ford's high-tech thriller Firewall, which claimed fourth spot with $13.8 million (GBP7.7 million).

Horror remake WHEN A STRANGER CALLS fell one place to fifth, with ticket sales of $10 million (GBP5.6 million) to round out the top five.

The film has earned $34.8 million (GBP19.3 million) overall in during its two-week release.