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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Grudge sequel heads US box office
Arielle Kebbel, star of The Grudge 2
Arielle Kebbel takes Sarah Michelle Gellar's lead in The Grudge 2
Horror sequel The Grudge 2 has topped the North American box office chart on its opening weekend, according to studio estimates.

The film took $22m (11.9m) from Friday to Sunday, beating last week's number one, Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which earned 18.7m (10.1m).

The gangster drama is on its way to becoming the director's biggest hit.

Man of the Year, with Robin Williams as a comedian elected president, opened at number three with $12.6m (6.8m).

Core audience

The Grudge 2 follows on from the 2004 hit about an angry spirit which fills its victims with an uncontrollable rage before moving on.

It was not shown to critics before it opened, but benefitted from a core audience of horror fans who attend opening weekend regardless of reviews.

Despite losing top place, The Departed is on its way to surpassing the $102.6m (55.4m) gross of Scorsese's 2004 drama The Aviator, said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros.

The overall box office soared, with the top 12 movies taking $100.8m (54.4m), up 41% on the same weekend last year when The Fog debuted at number one with $11.8m (6.4m).

The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep, remained the biggest worldwide box office draw for the second week running, grossing an estimated $22.7m (12.2m) in 44 territories.

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