The Bourne Ultimatum has displaced family comedy The Simpsons Movie at the top of the US box office.

The action thriller, which is the third movie about spy Jason Bourne's attempts to discover his true identity, raked in $70.2 million (£34.3 million) in its opening weekend - also breaking the record for the best ever August opening.

It surpassed the previous record set by Rush Hour 2, which grossed $67.4 million (£32.9 million) in 2001. Interestingly, the story about the renegade spy not only beat the takings of its previous installments but also the opening of fellow spy franchise James Bond.

Universal Studios distribution president Nikki Rocco said: "Moviegoers seemed to sense that something great was going to happen - reviewers and audiences alike rated this one the best one yet."

"Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass and Frank Marshall all delivered, and all the stars just aligned right."

The Simpsons, which is in its second week, earned $25.6 million to take second place.

The big-screen version of the popular television show has earned $315 million (£154 million) worldwide just ten days since its release.

Jennifer Lopez also returned to the big screen this week after a self imposed break from showbusiness. She stars with husband Marc Anthony in El Cantante, a movie about the life of renowned salsa performer Hector Lavoe.

06/08/2007 07:41:54