Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie" had plenty of sting left during its second weekend, replacing "American Gangster" as the No. 1 choice for North American moviegoers.
According to studio estimates issued Sunday, the DreamWorks Animation production earned $26 million during the three days beginning Friday, swapping places with Universal Pictures' crime saga "American Gangster," which slipped to No. 2 with $24.3 million.
The holiday comedy "Fred Claus," which some industry pundits said could have a shot at No. 1, came in at No. 3 with a respectable $19.2 million. The Warner Bros. release stars Vince Vaughn as Santa's bitter older brother.
Tom Cruise's rare foray into low-budget drama, "Lions for Lambs" opened at No. 4 with $6.7 million, which was in line with modest industry expectations. Meryl Streep co-stars in the critically maligned political saga, as does Robert Redford, who also directed. It marks the first United Artists release since Cruise and production partner Paula Wagner took control of
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's dormant art-house division a year ago.
The only other new release in the top 10 was the indie woman-in-distress thriller "P2," which came in at No. 8 with $2.2 million. Rachel Nichols stars as a young executive pursued in an underground garage by a sadistic security guard.
"Bee Movie" was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom .Universal Pictures is a unit of General Electric and Warner Bros. Pictures is a unit of Time
Warner . "P2" was released by Summit Entertainment, which is privately held. MGM is also privately held.