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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 09:54 GMT
Borat scores surprise number one
Film still from Borat
Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen has been invited to Kazakhstan
Spoof Kazakh reporter Borat - aka Ali G comedian Sacha Baron Cohen - has scored a surprise box office hit in the US.

The film - with its naked wrestling and toilet humour - took $26.4m (13.9m) in the US and Canada at the weekend, more than double estimated forecasts.

It was expected to open in the top five, but well behind The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, which opened in second place with $20m (10.53m).

Borat opened in just 837 cinemas, while Santa Clause 3 debuted in 3,458.

Film industry insiders had not expected Borat - full title Borat: Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan - to be as popular with mainstream audiences.

NORTH AMERICAN BOX OFFICE
1. Borat ($26.4m)
2. The Santa Clause 3 ($20m)
3. Flushed Away ($19.1m)
4. Saw III ($15.5m)
5. The Departed ($8m)
6. The Prestige ($7.8m)
7. Flags of Our Fathers ($4.5m)
8. Man of the Year ($3.8m)
9. Open Season ($3.1m)
10. The Queen ($3m)
Source: Exhibitor Relations

Santa Claus 3, starring Tim Allen as Santa, failed to match the $29m (15.3m) start for its 2002 predecessor.

Animated comedy Flushed Away finished in third place with an estimated $19.1m (10m), according to preliminary figures from Exhibitor Relations.

The Aardman Animations film, about a pampered pet rat who is flushed down a toilet, features the voices of Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman.

Horror film Saw III, the top earning film from last weekend, dropped to fourth place with takings of $15.5m (8.17m).

Director Martin Scorcese's drama The Departed, starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, ranked fifth with earnings of $8m (4.2m).

Scarlett Johansson's latest release, The Prestige, followed in sixth place with $7.8m (4.1m).

Flags of Our Fathers, Man of the Year, Open Season and The Queen rounded out the top ten.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See clips from the film



SEE ALSO
Kazakhs counter Borat's 'fiction'
04 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Press views: Borat's movie debut
03 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
'Sick man' Borat divides Kazakhs
26 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
How Borat hoaxed America
23 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Kazakh invite for Borat creator
19 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Kazakhs 'see funny side of Borat'
29 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Kazakhs shut Ali G star's website
14 Dec 05 |  Entertainment

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