Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 10:11 UK

Chihuahua is box office top dog

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
The film features the voice of Drew Barrymore

Canine family film Beverly Hills Chihuahua was best in show in the North American box office, according to early studio estimates.

The comedy featuring Drew Barrymore's voice as a pampered pooch who gets lost in Mexico took $29m (16.5m) in its opening weekend.

Thriller Eagle Eye fell one place to number two, taking $17.7m (10.1m).

Teen comedy Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist opened in third place taking $12m (6.8m).

The film, starring Juno actor Michael Cera, recouped nearly all of its $13m (7.4m) cost.

Richard Gere romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe and western Appaloosa rounded out the top five.

Other new entries in the top 10 include An American Carol, a satire of Hollywood's liberal politics, which opened at number nine and documentary Religulous, humorist Bill Maher's attack on organised religions, at 10.

1 Beverly Hills Chihuahua - $29m
2 Eagle Eye - $17.7m
3 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - $12m
4 Nights in Rodanthe - $7.4m
5 Appaloosa - $5m
Source: Media By Numbers

The top 12 movies brought in $95.4m (54.3m), up 42% from the same weekend a year ago, when The Game Plan was number one with $16.6m (9.4m).

"We had a huge weekend," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers.

"That's really due to the little Chihuahua. The little dog made a big difference."

Two other movies, comedy How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and the apocalyptic Blindness, both failed to make an impact on cinema goers.

Blindness, featuring Julianne Moore, Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo in a nightmare tale about a town suddenly hit by a sudden epidemic of sight loss, took just $2m (1.1m).

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, based on Toby Young's memoir and starring Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst, took $1.4m (797,000) across 1,750 cinemas.

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