LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the fourth film in the animated series featuring a woolly mammoth and his prehistoric friends, trampled "The Amazing Spider-Man" and took the top spot at U.S. and Canadian box offices on Sunday with $46 million.
Featuring the voice of comedian Ray Romano as the warm-hearted mammoth Manny and John Leguizamo as Sid the fast-talking sloth, the 3D film's opening weekend beat forecasts and topped the debut of the most recent movie in the series, 2009's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which opened to $42 million.
The biggest opening in the series was 2006's "Ice Age: The Meltdown," which grossed $68 million in its first weekend. Overall the animated series, which was produced for Fox by its Blue Sky Studios, has collected $1.9 billion in worldwide ticket sales, according to ticket tracking website Box Office Mojo.
"Ice Age" had been projected to gross around $40 million for the weekend, according to Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com's box office division.
"Spider-Man," the reboot of the blockbuster series that starred Andrew Garfield as the superhero's alter ego Peter Parker, collected $35 million over the weekend, after selling $140 million in ticket sales during a six-day run that began with midnight shows the day before the July 4th holiday.
Its cumulative domestic ticket sales after roughly two weeks in theaters now stand at $201 million. Add another $320 million overseas, and worldwide ticket sales total $521 million, easily making it among the year's top movies.
"Ted" a comedy about a man and his foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear, slipped to third place with domestic sales of $22.1 million from Friday through Sunday. Directed by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, the Universal Pictures release has earned $159 million domestically since its June 29 debut and has become a Hollywood summer season surprise.
Disney's animated fairy tale "Brave" weathered the entrance of the edgier "Ice Age" and landed in the No. 4 spot. The movie about a rebellious, red-haired Scottish princess, produced by Disney's Pixar unit, grabbed $10.6 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters and has collected $196 million after four weeks.
Another surprise hit, Warner Bros. male stripper film "Magic Mike," edged out Oliver Stone's gritty drug drama, "Savages," to claim the No. 5 spot. "Mike" rang up $9 million in ticket sales to boost its domestic total to $92 million.
"Savages, produced by Universal Pictures, totaled $8.7 million over the weekend, bringing its cumulative sales to $31.5 million after two weeks in theaters.
"Ice Age" was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.. "Spider-Man" was distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the movie studio wing of Sony Corp and produced by Marvel Studios, a division of Walt Disney Co.
Disney's studio unit released "Brave," and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. distributed "Magic Mike." "Savages" and "Ted" were distributed by Universal Pictures, whose controlling parent is Comcast Corp.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Eric Beech)