A yellow man with bulging eyes and an insatiable appetite for donuts rules the U.S. box office. Homer Simpson and his cartoon clan pulled in $71.9 million over the weekend, propelling The Simpsons Movie to number one.
It sent last week's champ I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry sinking to second place at $19 million, a 44 percent drop.
Occupying third place was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, whose $17.1 million take represents a 48 percent drop from last week. It has grossed $242 million domestically after three weeks.
Not only did The Simpsons Movie do well on 3,922 screens across the United States, it also opened strongly in 70 foreign markets. "We are ecstatic," said Chris Aronson, senior vice president for distribution at 20th Century Fox. "It far exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations."
The hand-drawn movie enjoyed the fifth-best opening weekend of the year, topping such competition as Paramount's Transformers; Sony Pictures' Ghostrider, and the computer-animated comedy Ratatouille, from the Walt Disney Co. and Pixar Animation Studios.
This week's top 12 movies grossed $168.6 million, up an impressive 45 percent from last year, when top earners included Miami Vice and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.