Mr Bean takes America by storm

It would be best not to talk to Rowan Atkinson about the swathe of British art house movies like Trainspotting and The Full Monty that have triumphed at the American box-office in the last two years. He probably doesn't care.

Bean - The Movie, the slapstick vehicle for the former Not The Nine O'clock News star, opened at the weekend in the United States and immediately jumped to number two in the crucial "opening weekend gross" figures that allows distributors to decide how many cinemas to place the movie in.

Bean - in which the character goes to America took $13m (pounds 8m) in its first weekend and looks destined to challenge Four Weddings And A Funeral for the accolade of the all-time biggest British movie in America.

It is already the best opening weekend ever for the film's distributors Gramercy.

The rubber-faced buffoon was kept off the top spot by Starship Troopers - the latest action sci-fi offering from the screenwriter Paul Verhoeven, the writer of Terminator 2 and director of Basic Instinct - which took $22m over the weekend.

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