Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (search) broke the British box office record for a documentary in its opening weekend by taking $2.4 million, the film's British distributor said Monday.

The film — a vitriolic assault on President George W. Bush over the Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq war — opened Friday on 132 British screens and has received standing ovations from audiences.

Distribution company Optimum Releasing said the previous opening weekend record for a documentary was set by Moore's"Bowling for Columbine," (search) which took $292,300 in its first three days.

The early success of "Fahrenheit 9/11" meant it was likely to become the biggest grossing documentary ever in Britain. The record is held by the 2003 mountaineering film "Touching the Void," which took $4.77 million.

The figure of 1.3 $2.4 million for "Fahrenheit 9/11" was compiled by research company Nielsen EDI, which said the weekend's highest grosser was "Shrek 2" with $12.95 million.

In the United States, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was the fourth biggest grosser in its third weekend with US$11 million, raising its total to $80.1 million. The film appears headed beyond $100 million, which would make it the first documentary to cross that mark.