Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

US Stands Still for Reeves film

Day the Earth Stood Still
Alien Klaatu arrives on Earth to warn of an impending global apocalypse

Sci-fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still has topped the North American box office in its opening weekend, according to early studio estimates.

The remake of the iconic 1951 film, which was largely panned by critics, stars Keanu Reeves as an alien who comes to Earth. It took $31m (20.6m).

Festive comedy Four Christmases slipped to second place with $13.3m (8.8m).

Vampire drama Twilight fell to three with $8m (5.3m) taking its total haul to $150m (99.7m) over four weeks.

"Audiences are moving to see The Day the Earth Stood Still - it's a visually stunning movie with timely issues everybody on this planet can relate to," said Fox distribution executive Chris Aronson.

1. The Day the Earth Stood Still - $31m
2. Four Christmases - $13.3m
3. Twilight - $18m
4. Bolt - $7.5m
5. Australia - $4.3m
6. Quantum of Solace - $6.6m
7. Nothing Like the Holidays - $3.5m
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - $3.3m
9. Milk - $2.6m
10. Transporter 3 - $2.3m
Source: Media by Numbers

The film cost about $80m (53.2m) to make and marks Reeves' biggest opening since 2003's The Matrix Revolutions.

The only other new entry in the top 10 was Christmas film, Nothing Like the Holidays - featuring John Leguizamo, Debra Messing and Alfred Molina in the story of a Chicago family's holiday reunion - which opened at number seven with $3.5m (2.3m).

A rush of films opened in limited release to qualify for the Oscars.

War-of-wills drama Doubt pulled in $525,000 (349,300) in just 15 cinemas.

It averaged $35,000 (23,000) per cinema, compared with $8,700 (5,800) in 3,560 locations for The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, Kate Winslet drama The Reader and Benicio Del Toro's epic Che also opened.

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