Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters (in millions):
1. Argo $12.4
2. Hotel Transylvania $9.5
3. Cloud Atlas $9.4
4. Paranormal Activity 4 $8.7
5. (tie) Silent Hill 3D $8
5. Taken 2 $8
7. Here Comes the Boom $5.5
8. Sinister $5.07
9. Alex Cross $5.05
10. Fun Size $4.1
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:25AM
LOS ANGELES — It took three weeks, but “Argo” finally found its way to the top of the box office.
The Warner Bros. thriller from director and star Ben Affleck, inspired by the real-life rescue of six U.S. embassy workers during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, made nearly $12.4 million this weekend, according to Sunday studio estimates. “Argo” had been in second place the past two weeks and has now made about $60.8 million total.
“Word-of-mouth has taken over the campaign,” said Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros.
The sprawling, star-studded “Cloud Atlas,” also from Warner Bros., underperformed compared to hopes that it would end up in the $11-12 million range domestically. But Fellman pointed out that it had a higher per-screen average than any other film opening in the top 10 with $4,681.
Also opening poorly were the horror sequel “Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D” and the Halloween comedy “Fun Size.” The inspirational surfing drama “Chasing Mavericks” didn’t even open in the top 12.