Wolverine snarls atop US box office

LOS ANGELES: Hugh Jackman slashed his way to the top of the North American box office this weekend as "X-Men" action figure "Wolverine," preliminary figures showed Sunday.

The action prequel "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" clawed up 87 million dollars for its opening weekend, the second-best "X-Men" showing, according to Hollywood insider Variety. "X2: X-Men United" made an impressive 102.1 million over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2003. Jackman, a 40-year-old Australian heartthrob named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine last year, has starred as the mutant superhero Wolverine in three previous "X-Men" movies.

A leaked version of the film had been downloaded tens of thousands of times online more than a month before its official release, leading Jackman to say he was "heartbroken." Romantic comedy "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, debuted in second place at 15.3 million dollars.

Superstar singer Beyonce's taut thriller "Obsessed" earned a cool 12.2 million dollars, for a total of 47 million dollars over two weeks. The film also stars HBO's "Wire" gangster Idris Elba as a businessman whose life is turned upside down the romantic advances of a new colleague.

Youthful fantasy "17 Again," starring US teen heartthrob Zac Efron fell from the second to fourth, raking in 6.3 million dollars for a 48.4-million-dollar total over three weeks.

"Monsters and Aliens," an animated tale of a rag-tag group of monsters who save the world from destruction, came in fifth place, earning 5.8 million dollars to bring its total to 182.4 million over six weeks.

"The Soloist," an inspiring musical tale based on a true story, starring critical acclaimed actors Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx, scored 5.6 million dollars in ticket sales on its second weekend.

Disney's "Earth" documentary, in seventh place, culls extraordinary nature footage from the BBC's landmark series "Planet Earth." It brought in 4.18 million dollars on its second weekend.

"Fighting," pulled few punches to land in eighth, telling the story of small-town boy Channing Tatum trying to make it big in New York City.

The street fighting flick, featuring intense bare-knuckle scraps, took in 4.17 million dollars on its second weekend of showing.

Miley Cyrus vehicle "Hannah Montana: The Movie," came in ninth. The film version of the popular Disney TV series took in 4.1 million dollars for a total of 70.9 million in four weeks.

Washington-based "State of Play" rounded out the top 10 with its A-list cast to seventh, raking in 3.7 million dollars on its third weekend.

Starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, the thriller centers on reporters and police trying to solve the murder of a young lawmaker's mistress.