LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- "Argo" finally managed to beat other cinematic rivals including Tom Hanks' latest adventure drama "Cloud Atlas" to finish as the top grosser in North America box office this weekend, owing to its excellent word-of-mouth and growing momentum which was built up over three weeks in display.
"Argo," a Warner Bros. political thriller about a CIA scheme to extract the U.S. embassy workers trapped in Teheran out of Iran during the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover, is projected to gross 12.4 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales over the three-day weekend, finishing as the most popular film in North America in third week of exhibition.
The film, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, has grossed 60. 8 million dollars over three weeks. It continued to build itself as the leading contender in the Oscar race for best-picture nominations Jan. 10.
"Hotel Transyvania," an animated kids film released by Sony, finished in second place with a 9.5 million dollar take in its fifth week of display. The film is on track to take in 130.4 million dollar worth of tickets over five weeks.
Leading the four films which debuted over the weekend, "Cloud Atlas," an adventure drama starring Hanks in multiple roles, opened to a disappointing 9.4 million dollar gate, ending in the third place.
The 102-million-dollar Hanks vehicle, adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell and also stars Halle Berry, is the latest film from Andy and Lana Wachowski who were behind "The Matrix." It tells six stories with settings ranging from a 19th century shipping expedition to a post-apocalyptic island after the fall of modern society. Featuring an ensemble cast to cover the multiple storylines, "Cloud Atlas" was regarded as one of the most ambitious films in 2012.
Distributor Warner Bros. has hoped the film would pull in at least 13 million dollars from 2,008 locations in the United States and Canada. The film appeals to a heavily older crowd. Seventy- seven percent of those who have seen it were 25 or older, and they assigned it an average grade CinemaScore of "C+."
Rounding out the top 10 most-popular films in North America this weekend were "Paranormal Activity 4" (USD 8.7 million); " Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D" which debuted in a tie with "Taken 2" (both with USD 8 million); "Here Comes the Boom" (USD 5.5 million); "Sinister" (USD 5 million); "Alex Cross" (USD 5 million) and "Fun Size" (debuting with USD 4 million).