Ben Affleck's thriller Argo topped the U.S Box Office this past weekend, three weeks after it first hit theaters. The movie had been sitting at No.2 for the past two weeks, though took advantage of a weak set of movie releases to take pole position with $12 million, according to the Associated Press.

The result certainly shocked industry analysts, who had tipped Tom Hanks' drama Cloud Atlas to top the charts. Instead, it had to settle for second place with a paltry $9.6 million. The Halloween family flick Hotel Transylvania continued its good run by taking an additional $9.4 million to lie third. Unsurprisingly, it was a couple of horror flicks that rounded out the Top 5, with Paranormal Activity 4 taking $8.5 million and Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D pulling in $8 million. Ben Affleck's movie became the second-lowest grossing No.1 of the year, behind the £9.3 million that The Possession took during its second weekend of the release in September. The difference is that Affleck's flick is likely to challenge for the major awards come awards season, with many tipping it as a potential Oscar winner.

The movie is loosely based on former Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's account of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis in 1979.