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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 10:23 GMT
Gangster beats bees at box office
Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe
There were worries the 157-minute film length might put viewers off
Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe have taken the top spot at the US box office with their new film American Gangster.

The film sold $46.3m (22.24m) worth of tickets at the weekend, while Jerry Seinfeld's animated Bee Movie opened at number two with $39.1m (18.78m).

Directed by Sir Ridley Scott, American Gangster is based on a real-life story.

It stars Washington as 1970s Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas and Crowe as a New Jersey cop on his trail.

The film was also the highest-grossing opener for both its stars, beating Inside Man ($29m (13.93m)) and Gladiator ($35m (16.81m)) respectively.

The two new entries in the box office chart saw last weekend's number one, the horror movie Saw IV, drop to number three.

The North American chart contained one other new release, the John Cusack drama Martian Child, which opened at number seven having taken 1.75m ($3.65m).

American Gangster cost $100m (48.03m) to make and took producer Brian Grazer seven years and three directors to finally complete, with Sir Ridley following in the footsteps of Antoine Fuqua and Terry George.

Bee Movie, meanwhile, is comedian Seinfeld's first major project since he ended his eponymous sitcom in 1998.

Seinfeld produced and co-wrote the film, and voices the lead character, a curious bee who befriends a florist and then sues the human race for stealing the bees' honey.

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