Family film Bee Movie buzzed to the top spot at the US box office this week, ahead of crime drama American Gangster.

The animated comedy about the adventures of the honey-making insects grossed $26 million (£12.51 million) this weekend. Main rival American Gangster, which stars Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington, earned $24.3 million (£11.69 million) over the same period.

Bee Movie, which stars Jerry Seinfeld, also proved to be more popular with moviegoers than Santa Claus as American families prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. New comedy Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughan, came in third in the charts with $19.2 million (£9.23 million).

DreamWorks marketing head Anne Globe said the studio's Bee Movie would become this year's must-see holiday film.

She told the Hollywood Reporter: "(It) is resonating beautifully with our core family audience and also playing to a broad group of moviegoers."

Cinema executives are expecting a busy few weeks ahead, with many new releases set to hit the screens soon. Closer star Natalie Portman's family fantasy Mr Margorium's Wonder Emporium is set to open as is Angelina Jolie's animated film Beowulf.

Oscar winner Nicole Kidman will also return to the big screen with the film Margot at the Wedding.

12/11/2007 07:21:58