'Bee Movie,' the cartoon Seinfeld originated and stars in, rose to the top with a three-day haul of $26 million during its second weekend of North American release, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.
The DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc production, traded places with Universal Pictures' Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe crime saga 'American Gangster,' which slipped to No 2 with $24.3 million, also in its second round.
The last movie to rise through the rankings and hit No. 1 for the first time was …Wedding Crashersª in July 2005. (Former champ 'The Chronicles of Narnia' regained the No 1 slot in January 2006.)
The comedy 'Fred Claus,' featuring 'Wedding Crashers' star Vince Vaughn, opened at No 3 with a respectable $19.2 million. Tom Cruise's rare foray into low-budget drama, 'Lions for Lambs,' opened at No 4 with $6.7 million, which was in line with modest industry expectations.
'Lions for Lambs' marks the first United Artists release since Cruise and production partner Paula Wagner took control of MGM's dormant art-house division a year ago. After ending a six-week losing streak last weekend, overall year-on-year sales fell once again. The top-12 films earned $99 million, down 11 per cent from the year-ago period, according to tracking firm Media By Numbers.
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