DreamWorks Animation's comedy Monsters vs. Aliens won the box office race this weekend, generating some $58.2 million in its North American debut and making Hollywood's best opening so far this year, according to preliminary estimates released Sunday.
The animated movie, which tells the story of a ragtag group who fight with invading extra terrestrials to save the world, opened on an impressive 7,000 screens in the US and Canada, including 2,000 digital 3-D or Imax theaters.
Monsters vs. Aliens, a $150-million production, is the biggest gamble so far by Hollywood in the 3-D category, as major studios bet big on digital 3-D as a savior of the movie exhibition business.
The Haunting in Connecticut, another new release from Lionsgate, opened in second place with $23 million in estimated ticket sales.
Nicolas Cage's sci-fi thriller Knowing, which was last week's box office leader, pulled in $14.7 million, placing third in its second weekend of release.
Rounding out the top five movies in North America this weekend were Paramount comedy I Love You, Man and spy thriller Duplicity, with $12.6 million and $7.6 million respectively over the three-day period. Both movies were in their second weekend of release.