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"Dolphin Tale" leaps to top of movie box office

Oct 2, 2011, 9:04 a.m.
(Back L-R) Cast members, actors Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, (Front L-R) Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Nathan Gamble and director Charles Martin Smith arrive at the movie "Dolphin Tale" world premiere in Los Angeles, California September 17, 2011. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Family film "Dolphin Tale" jumped to the top of the movie box office over the weekend, unseating "The Lion King" and beating four newcomers, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.

"Dolphin Tale," which had finished third when it debuted a week earlier, took in $14.2 million over three days at U.S. and Canadian theaters. The movie is based on the true story of a dolphin that gets snared by a crab trap and is rehabilitated with a prosthetic tail.

Baseball drama "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt, finished second with $12.5 million. The 3D makeover of animated classic "The Lion King," box-office champ for the two previous weekends, fell to third with $11.1 million.

"Dolphin Tale" was released by Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc. Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp, released "Moneyball," and Walt Disney Co distributed "The Lion King 3D."

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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