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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 23:03 GMT
Elf beats Crowe at US box office
Elf has made a total of more than $70m (41m) in the US
Christmas comedy Elf has beaten Russell Crowe's new blockbuster Master and Commander to the top spot at the US box office, according to studio estimates.

Elf, which stars Will Ferrell as a human raised by Santa at the North Pole, took $27.2m (16m) over the weekend, after two weeks on release.

Master and Commander, a Napoleonic-era drama tipped for Oscars, took $25.7m (15m) in its opening weekend.

Last week's chart-topper, The Matrix Revolutions, fell to number three.

Master and Commander is based on Patrick O'Brian's novels about an intrepid British captain.

Master and Commander
Master and Commander is Crowe's first film since A Beautiful Mind
It was directed by Peter Weir, who made The Truman Show and Dead Poets Society, and was Crowe's first role since 2001's Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind.

But David Tuckerman, head of distribution for New Line, which released Elf, said: "It just goes to show you, a sugar diet is better than what they eat on those ships.

"We have a movie that's playing from 8 to 80. It's a sweet, family movie."

Elsewhere on the box office chart, animated fantasy Brother Bear slipped one place to number four.

And Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which stars Brendan Fraser and Steve Martin alongside cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, opened at number five.

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