The anticipated remake of King Kong has opened at the top of the American box office, after racking up $50.15 million (GBP27.8 million) in ticket sales.

While the movie's takings placed it firmly ahead of its nearest rival, it still proved to be a disappointment for Hollywood analysts, who expected it to earn approximately $60 million (GBP33.3 million) in its first weekend of release.

The film grabbed the top spot from The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, which slipped to second place with $31.2 million (GBP17.3 million).

Premiering in third place with $12.7 million (GBP7 million) is the ensemble movie The Family Stone, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson and Claire Danes.

Harry Potter AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE and George Clooney's SYRIANA round out the top five, with $5.9 million (GBP3.2 million) and $5.5 million (GBP3 million) respectively.