Shark flick shows its teeth at box office
The tale of an ambitious fish that gets into problems due to misguided bravado was billed by some critics as a washout.
But the movie, which boats an impressive voice-over cast of Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Martin Scorsese, Renee Zellwegger, Robert De Niro and Will Smith, has bitten back - swallowing an estimated $49 million (£27 million) from Friday to Sunday.
This represents the fifth best animated opening of all time, behind Shrek 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2.
"It's an incredible opening for any movie, not just for an animated movie," said Jeff Tharp of studio DreamWorks.
"We're particularly pleased with the urban market play as well as the suburban markets," he added.
"I think you attribute that to voice talent as well as the music in the movie."
In second place was firefighting thriller Ladder 49, starring Hollywood star John Travolta, which pulled in an estimated $22.8 million in its weekend debut.
The Forgotten was third with a take of $12 million, followed by Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, which took the fourth place with $3.4 million. Mr 3000 was fifth with a take of $2.6 million.
Rounding up the Top Ten were Woman Thou Art Loosed, Shaun Of The Dead, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, First Daughter and Cellular.
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