Jodie Foster's crime thriller The Brave One has taken $14m (£7m) to top the US and Canada box office.
Foster plays a vengeful radio host in The Brave One
The film, about a radio host who seeks revenge after losing her boyfriend in an attack, pushed western 3:10 to Yuma into second place with $9.15m (£4.57m).
Comedy Mr Woodcock, starring Billy Bob Thornton as a sadistic gym teacher, debuted in third with $9.1m (£4.54m).
Fantasy Dragon Wars took fourth place with $5.3 (£2.6m), and Superbad rounded out the top five with $5.2m (£2.59m).
UK BOX OFFICE
1. The Brave One $14m (£7m)
2. 3:10 to Yuma $9.2m (£4.57m)
3. Mr Woodcock $9.1m (£4.54m)
4. Dragon Wars $5.4m (£2.6m)
5. Superbad $5.2m (£2.59m)
6. Halloween $5m (£2.5m)
7. The Bourne Ultimatum$4.2m (£2.1m)
8. Balls of Fury $3.3m (£1.65m)
9. Rush Hour 3 $3.3m (£1.65m)
10. Mr Bean's Holiday $2.7m (£1.35m)
Source: Exhibitor Relations
Rob Zombie's update of the classic slasher Halloween dropped to six after three weeks on the chart.
Action adventure The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon's third outing as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, came in seventh with takings of $4.2m (£2.1m). It has earned $216m (£108m) in seven weeks.
Spoof table-tennis comedy Balls of Fury was at eight with $3.33m (£1.65m), and Rush Hour 3, starring Hong Kong star Jackie Chan, was ninth with $3.32m (£1.65m).
Oddball comedy Mr Bean's Holiday dropped to 10th place with $2.6m (£1.3m).
Three smaller films hoping to build Oscar buzz finished out of the top ten over the weekend, but did well in limited release.
David Cronenberg's crime thriller Eastern Promises, which won the main prize at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday, opened on 15 screens, taking an average of $36,845 (£18,466) per screen.
The film, about Russian mobsters in London, stars Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts.
Across the Universe, the Julie Taymor film inspired by The Beatles' music, also opened well with a per-screen average of $29,783 (£14,927).
Iraq war film In the Valley of Elah, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron, opened with $138,000 (£69,168) on nine screens.
"We could be talking about all three of these films come Oscar time," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers.
"The per-screen average indicates the intensity with which people are interested in these films and deservedly so. This is what the fall is all about."