Low-budget horror film The Grudge has entered the North American box office chart at number one.
Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar features in The Grudge
It pushed animated film Shark Tale off the top spot after selling $40m (£21.7m) worth of tickets in three days.
The movie, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a remake of a Japanese haunted house thriller that was released in the US earlier this year.
Satirical comedy Team America: World Police - by the makers of South Park - fell two places to number five.
1. The Grudge
2. Shark Tale
3. Shall We Dance?
4. Friday Night Lights
5. Team America: World Police
Gellar, best known for her Buffy the Vampire Slayer character, plays an American in Tokyo who must outwit a ghoulish presence.
The film was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also made the original, Ju-On.
Ticket sales for The Grudge doubled the expectations of its distributor.
"If we would have done twenty (million dollars), we would have been ecstatic," said Rory Bruer, president of domestic distribution at the Sony Corp-owned studio.
Shark Tale earned $14.3m (£7.76m) for the three days beginning Friday, taking its total to $136.9m (£74.3m).
But Dreamworks was less successful with its latest film - Surviving Christmas - starring Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini, which opened at number seven.
Universal Pictures' Friday Night Lights, starring Billy Bob Thornton as the coach of a high school football team, fell two places to number four.
Romantic comedy Shall We Dance? - with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere - rose one place to number three after expanding its cinema count in its second weekend.
I Heart Huckabees was another new entry into the top ten after jumping two places to number ten.