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Ben Affleck's Argo beats Cloud Atlas to US top spot


Story by Jack Foley

BEN Affleck’s Oscar contender Argo has gone to the top of the US box office on its third week of release, beating a slew of new releases including the star-studded epic Cloud Atlas.

Argo, based on the true story of a CIA rescue of US Embassy workers from Iran, grossed $12.4 million to bring its US total to $60.8 million. It is the first movie since The Blind Side (Sandra Bullock’s Oscar winner) to hit top spot for the first time in its third weekend.

Indeed, holdover titles fared better than new releases with animated hit Hotel Transylvania also continuing to go great guns. The film narrowly pipped Cloud Atlas to second spot with $9.5 milllion in its fifth weekend for a domestic total of $130.4 million. It is now the highest grossing Sony Animation title.

Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, placed a disappointing third. Costing $100 million to produce, the film only mustered $9.4 million, notably less than the $12 million to $15 million that Warners was hoping for.

Based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas was directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tywker and was independently financed.

Last week’s box office champion Paranormal Activity 4 slipped to fourth in its second weekend with $8.7 million for a 10-day domestic total of $42.6 million, narrowly beating new Halloween release Silent Hill: Revelation into fifth (a position that was tied with Taken 2).

There was worse news for two more new titles: Victoria Justice teen comedy Fun Size and Gerard Butler surfing drama Chasing Mavericks both opened outside the top 10 and landed high on the list of all-time worst studio openings.

Fun Size placed 11th with $4.1 million and Chasing Mavericks, starring Gerard Butler as legendary surfer Jay Moriarty, came 13th with $2.2 million.

Indeed, the weekend will be notable as much for Argo‘s continued success as it is one of the worst on record for new releases, all of which disappointed.

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