Director Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11 took in a whopping $21.8 million (GBP12.1 million) in its first three days, becoming the first documentary ever to debut as America's top weekend (25-27JUN04) film.
The controversial movie also set a new record as the top-grossing documentary ever, outside of concert films and movies made for huge-screen IMAX theatres.
And, the revenue from two New York City cinemas - where Fahrenheit 9/11 opened on Wednesday (23JUN04), two days earlier than the rest of the US - increased the film's haul to $21.96 million (GBP12.2 million).
Bowling For Columbine, Moore's 2002 OSCAR-winning factual film, previously held the documentary record with $21.6 million (GBP12 million).
Fahrenheit 9/11, an assault on American President George W Bush's actions after the 2001 terrorist attacks, won the top honour at last month's (MAY04) Cannes Film Festival and has attracted attention from both sides in the presidential campaign.
Comedy White Chicks opened in second place with $19.6 million (GBP10.8 million) for the weekend, pushing the total since opening on Wednesday (23JUN04) to $27.1 million (GBP15 million).
The previous weekend's (18-21JUN04) top movie, Dodgeball: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY, slipped to third place, taking in $18.5 million (GBP10.2 million), while TOM HANKS' THE TERMINAL fell from second to fourth place with $13.9 million (GBP7.7 million).