"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" ended a lacklustre stretch at the British box office in swashbuckling style with a new opening record for the year.
The fourth release in the blockbuster Walt Disney series, and the first in 3-D, took 11.63 million pounds ($18.74 million), according to Screen International on Tuesday. Of that, 3.06 million pounds came from two days of previews.
The newest "Pirates" adventure pairs returning star Johnny Depp in his signature role as Captain Jack Sparrow with Oscar winner Penelope Cruz, a newcomer to the franchise.
The film co-stars another Academy Award winner and Pirates veteran, Geoffrey Rush, along with Ian McShane making his first appearance as Blackbeard.
"Fast and Furious 5" stayed in second spot, with last week's chart-topper, "Thor" the God of Thunder, down in third.
Horror movie "Insidious" stayed at four, just above the teen gang of "Attack the Block," which was down two at five.
Sixth, down one place, was ruthless 16-year-old assassin "Hanna", while the animated macaws of "Rio" stayed at seven.
"Water for Elephants" with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in a travelling circus was unchanged at eight.
Gritty police thriller "Blitz" with Jason Statham came in at nine, while Paul Giamatti in "Win Win" made his debut in tenth spot.