LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Will Smith's apocalyptic thriller "I Am Legend" took the top spot at the North American box office over the weekend, bagging 76.5 million dollars in ticket sales, preliminary figures showed Sunday.
Smith's film was well ahead of the children's comedy "Alvin and the Chipmunks," about a trio of singing animals, which took in 45 million dollars in its opening weekend, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
"Legend," which also opened over the weekend, stars Smith as a scientist who is the world's lone survivor of a virus that transforms humans into blood-thirsty mutants.
After topping last week's box office with 25.8 million dollars, "The Golden Compass," a fantasy film that had been expected to rake in blockbuster figures, fell to third place with just over nine million dollars despite good reviews.
The reported 180-million-dollar film, starring Nicole Kidman and James Bond actor Daniel Craig, took 25.8 million dollars, has been criticized by Christian groups as being anti-religious.
The Disney fairytale "Enchanted" dropped from second to fourth place with six million dollars, while the latest Coen brothers movie, "No Country for Old Men," rose one spot to fifth place with three million.
Three Christmas-themed movies took the next three spots: "The Perfect Holiday" with nearly three million dollars, "Fred Claus" with just over 2.3 billion dollars, "This Christmas" with 2.3 million dollars.
The World War II drama "Atonement" jumped six spots to ninth place with nearly 1.9 million dollars after earning seven Golden Globe nominations on Thursday, making the film an Oscar contender.
Rounding up the top 12 films of weekend were "August Rush" with 1.8 million dollars, "Juno" with 1.4 million and "Beowulf" with 1.35 million.
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