School of Rock, about a rocker who poses as a substitute teacher to coach pupils for a talent contest, has topped the North American box office.
Jack Black (right) also starred in High Fidelity
The film, which stars Jack Black and Joan Cusack, took $20.2 (£12m) on its debut weekend.
School of Rock, from Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater, had a budget of about $30m (£18m).
But overall takings were down 19% on the same weekend in 2002.
Denzel Washington's Out Of Time, about a police chief accused of murder, opened in second spot with $17m (£10.2m).
Last week's top movie, The Rundown, slipped to third place with $9.8m (£5.9m).
Romance Under the Tuscan Sun fell one place to number four with (£7.9m) £4.75m, followed by Secondhand Lions at number five with (£5.3m) £3.25m in its third weekend.
The period comedy drama stars Sir Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment.
Writer and director Sophia Coppola's comedy Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray, jumped three places to number seven with $4.2m (£2.6m).
The top 12 films grossed $82.2 (£49.3m), down by nearly a fifth from the same time last year when the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, took $34.5 m (£20.8m) in its first weekend of release.