LOS ANGELES - The "Miami Vice" speedboat overtook the "Pirates of the Caribbean" juggernaut to capture the top spot at the weekend box office.
The film, which pairs Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as the iconic TV characters Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, took in $25.2 million, compared to $20.5 million for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," according to studio estimates Sunday.
"It's nice to be number one," said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at Universal Pictures.
The gritty, dark action film was directed by Michael Mann, who created the 1980s TV show. The movie was especially attractive to older audiences, with 62 percent of the audience over 30, according to the studio's exit polling.
The audience was pretty evenly split between men and women, the polling showed.
"It's what our expectations were," Rocco said. "We tried to do something different. There has been a lot of criticism regarding unoriginal product. We took a TV series and made it very different."
The news was not necessarily bad for The Walt Disney Co., which produced "Pirates."
In its third week, "Pirates" has earned $358.4 million to become the highest grossing film in Disney's history, passing the $339.7 million earned by the Pixar Animation Studios film "Finding Nemo."
"After posting the biggest opening weekend of all time, it is living up to the promise created that opening weekend," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations.
"Pirates" is on track to break the $400 million mark in the coming weeks, Dergarabedian said.
The Pixar film "Cars" has also raked in $234.6 million to date. And while the film is no longer in the top 10 at the box office, its cumulative gross makes it the second highest grossing film of the year, giving Disney the top two spots so far.
"It's a very happy weekend," said Chuck Viane, Disney's head of distribution.
The teen flick "John Tucker Must Die" from 20th Century Fox debuted in third place with a respectable $14 million.
The film, with a budget of about $18 million, attracted a predominantly young female audience with its story of four high school girls who seek revenge against an unfaithful boyfriend.
"The Ant Bully," an animated film from Warner Bros., opened with a mere $8.1 million.
The film featured the voice talents of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Nicolas Cage and was produced by Tom Hanks. But it just couldn't compete against a crowded field of family pictures.
"It's much less than what we had wanted," said Jeff Goldstein, general sales manager at Warner Bros. "The marketplace is crowded. The kids have been bombarded."
The independent film "Little Miss Sunshine" opened strongly in limited release.
The quirky film starring Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell, took in $356,863 in only seven theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a per screen average of $50,980.
Overall, box office revenue was up 6.3 percent and attendance was up 3 percent.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Miami Vice," $25.2 million.
2. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," $20.5 million.
3. "John Tucker Must Die," $14 million.
4. "Monster House," $11.5 million.
5. "The Ant Bully," $8.2 million.
6. "Lady in the Water," $7 million.
7. "You, Me and Dupree," $7 million
8. "Little Man," $5.1 million.
9. "The Devil Wears Prada," $4.8 million.
10. "Clerks II," $3.9 million.