Sarah Michelle Gellar's low-budget horror movie The Grudge has provided a box office upset in America, by racing to the top with takings of $40 million (GBP22.2 million).

The COLUMBIA PICTURES project, a remake of Japanese haunted house thriller JU-ON, doubled its expected takings and took over the number one slot from hit cartoon Shark Tale, which had been the top movie for the past three weeks.

In the movie, former BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER star Gellar plays an American in Tokyo, Japan, who must outwit a ghoulish presence. The movie cost less than $10 million (GBP5.5 million) to produce, and a sequel is on the cards.

Shark Tale earned an extra $14.3 million (GBP7.9 million), taking its total to $136.9 million (GBP76 million), while Jennifer Lopez and RICHARD GERE's romantic comedy Shall We Dance? rose one place to number with $8.6 million (GBP4.7 million).

But Lopez's former fiance Ben Affleck had no such luck in the opening of his movie Surviving Christmas, which took seventh place with a disappointing $4.5 million (GBP2.5 million).

25/10/2004 02:52