The Lion King" fended off Brad Pitt to keep the box-office crown for a second straight weekend. The 3D re-release of the animated classic rang up an estimated 22 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over three days as families turned out to see lion cub Simba's return to theaters.
Ticket sales for "The Lion King 3D" have far surpassed industry expectations for a movie that debuted in 1994 and will soon hit stores on Blu-ray disc.
The baseball drama "Moneyball" starring Pitt took second and family film "Dolphin Tale" finished a close third.
Baseball and math didn't quite add up to a box-office win for "Moneyball," which finished in second place with 20.6 million domestically. Pitt plays real-life Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who used unconventional statistical analysis to field a small-budget team of overlooked players to make an unlikely playoff run.
The movie won positive reviews from critics and although it finished second, sales hit the high end of studio projections.
Close behind was another story from the animal kingdom. "Dolphin Tale" brought in an estimated 20.3 million to take third place, a strong showing for a family film against the mighty performance from "Lion King."
The movie, starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, is based on the true story of a dolphin that loses its tail in a crab trap and is rehabilitated with a prosthetic tail. The real dolphin that inspired the story portrays the dolphin in the film.
Action film "Abduction," starring and produced by "Twilight" heartthrob Taylor Lautner in his first major role outside the popular vampire and werewolf series, pulled in 11.2 million to take fourth place.