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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June 2005, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Film fans fall for Pitt and Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith
The film has fuelled rumours that Pitt and Jolie are a couple
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's movie double act in action comedy Mr and Mrs Smith has succeeded in winning over US fans, topping the box office chart.

The film, in which the pair play married assassins, took more than $50m (28m) in the US and Canada over the weekend, according to studio estimates.

It has been released amid rumours of a relationship between the stars.

Last week's number one, animated hit Madagascar, slipped a place while Star Wars: Episode III is at number three.

Tabloid reports about Pitt and Jolie may have helped the film's box office takings, according to analysts.

1. Mr and Mrs Smith - $51.1m
2. Madagascar (above) - $17.1m
3. Star Wars: Episode III - $14.9m
4. The Longest Yard - $13.5m
5. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D - $12.5m
Friday-Sunday. Source: Exhibitor Relations Co Inc
"I think it was a mixture of movie and hype," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

"The combined interest in the movie itself and the personal lives of these two stars conspired to create a pretty strong opening weekend."

Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at the film's studio 20th Century Fox, said: "We will see how much was tabloid fodder versus how it plays to audiences.

"If it hangs in there, it's a good movie with a great-looking cast that really delivers. If it disappears, then it was a lot of hype."

But Russell Crowe's highly-publicised recent brush with the law did nothing to help his new film, Cinderella Man.

It opened in fourth place last week and slipped to sixth in the latest chart with ticket sales down 50%.

"We believe in this movie, but we're obviously disappointed," said a spokesman for the film's distributor, Universal Pictures.

  • A US TV interview in which Brad Pitt urged President Bush to do more to help Africa has been credited with boosting an anti-poverty campaign.

    Pitt spoke on ABC on Tuesday about his trip to Ethiopia, calling the situation "a wildfire" and telling President Bush "we should be leading this fight".

    "This is not just a cause, this is an emergency," he said.

    Organisers of the One Campaign said more than 120,000 people had signed an online petition since the interview.

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