Disney Pixar's Brave tops US box office chart

Princess Merida in Brave Brave opens in the UK on 17 August

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Brave, the latest animated feature from Disney Pixar, has made its debut at number one in the US box office chart, according to early estimates.

The film made $66.7m (£42.8m) in its opening weekend, knocking Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted off the top spot.

Brave, about a princess in medieval Scotland, is the first Disney Pixar animation with a female protagonist.

Action thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was the second highest new entry at number three.

The film, whose cast includes the British actors Dominic Cooper and Rufus Sewell, took a total of $16.5m (£10.6m) over the weekend.

Brave, which will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this week, is the the 13th consecutive Pixar release to open at number one.

"Their track record is just unbelievable," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

VisitScotland hopes Brave will boost tourism

"The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience. It doesn't matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name."

Brave's heroine, who rebels against her family's plans for her to marry, is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, of Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire fame.

Keira Knightley's latest film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, made its debut at number 10.

It's three-day takings of $3.8m (£2.4m) reflected the fact it had a more limited release than the rest of the titles in this week's Top 10.

Woody Allen's Italian romance, To Rome With Love, opened in five cinemas and made $379,371 (£243,905).

That gave the film an average of $75,874 (£48,780) per screen, compared to the $16,028 (£10,307) screen average for Brave.

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