Madagascar 3 beats Prometheus at US box office

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted sees the escaped zoo animals join the circus

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The third animated Madagascar film has beaten Ridley Scott's Alien offshoot Prometheus to top the US box office.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted took nearly $60.4 million (£38.8 million) over the weekend, according to studio estimates.

Sci-fi thriller Prometheus, starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron, debuted in second place with $50 million (£32.1 million).

The film is rated R in the US, meaning under-17s must see it with an adult.

Madagascar 3, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival last month, reunites voice stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer.

The Dreamworks Animation outperformed the $47.2 million debut of the 2005 original, but fell short of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which took $63.1 million in its opening weekend.

The third instalment, which has been a bigger hit with the critics, benefited from higher ticket prices and more expensive 3D shows.

Prometheus, telling the story of a team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind, was also screened in 3D.

The effects-laden adventure debuted at the top of the UK box office last week.

Last weekend's US number one Snow White & the Huntsman slipped to third-place, with Men in Black 3 at number four.

Fifth place went to The Avengers, which has now taken $571.9 million at the US box office - making it the highest-grossing film of the year so far.

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