The Colin Farrell-starring sci-fi remake pulled in £2,493,230 from 464 locations, narrowly beating Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn's alien-busting comedy The Watch, which made £2,235,933 from 419 locations.
Pixar's Brave took the number three spot with £1,604,163, following its two-week reign at the top of the chart.
Seth MacFarlane's Ted, which upon its release enjoyed the biggest first weekend for a comedy in 2012, came in at number four with £990,842.
The other new release to crack the top ten was Sam Raimi-produced horror The Possession, which made £979,192 from 374 locations.
Outside of the top ten, newly released comedies A Few Best Men and Cockneys vs Zombies made £263,770 and £8,198 (plus £3,276 in previews) respectively.
Peter Strickland's acclaimed horror Berberian Sound Studio made £43,024 (plus £2,716 in previews) from its 23 locations.
The UK box office top ten in full:
1. Total Recall - £2,493,230
2. The Watch - £2,235,933
3. Brave - £1,604,163
4. Ted - £990,842
5. The Possession - £979,192
6. The Dark Knight Rises - £759,838
7. The Bourne Legacy - £714,020
8. The Expendables 2 - £376,319
9. Keith Lemon: The Film - £370,735
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - £287,969
Source: The Guardian
Watch a Total Recall hover cars featurette below: