Entertainment & Arts

Dr Seuss animation The Lorax has best 2012 debut so far

3D animation The Lorax has enjoyed the best opening weekend of the year so far at the US box office, making more than $70m (£44m) in its first three days.

The environmental fable, based on a character created by Dr Seuss, took $70.7m (£44.7m) between Friday and Sunday, according to studio estimates.

Rauchy comedy Project X, its nearest competitor, took an estimated $20.8m (£13.1m) over the same period.

Dr Seuss' The Lorax will be released in the UK on 27 July.

Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and singer Taylor Swift voice characters in the film, which tells of a boy trying to locate a mystical and cantankerous tree guardian.

Nikki Rocco, president of distribution for Universal Pictures, said she "couldn't be more excited" by the film's performance.

She attributed its success to an "incredible" marketing campaign and the appeal of Dr Seuss - the pen name of US children's author Theodor Geisel.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who! are among other Geisel works to have been filmed in recent years.

The latest comes from the same team who produced Despicable Me, which topped both the US and UK box office charts in 2010.

The Lorax and Project X, in which a teen house party escalates out of control, knocked action film Act of Valour, last week's box office champion, down two places to three.

Also featured in this week's Top 10 was silent film The Artist, which saw its takings jump following its success at the Academy Awards.

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