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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In their second on-screen pairing, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson returned to the top of the North American box office on Sunday with the adventure comedy "Fool's Gold."
The movie earned $22 million for the three days beginning Friday, according to estimates issued by its distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures. The Time Warner Inc-owned studio said the tally exceeded its expectations by $3 million to $4 million.
McConaughey and Hudson topped the charts exactly five years ago with the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," which kicked off with $23.8 million; it finished with $106 million.
This time, McConaughey plays a bounty hunter who reunites with his estranged wife (Hudson) to search for sunken treasure in the Caribbean. Critics almost unanimously lambasted the film. Warner Bros. said older women were the primary audience.
Also new, at No. 2, was the Martin Lawrence comedy "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins," with $17.1 million. Lawrence plays a self-help guru who must suffer a family reunion. Critics were similarly pained. The film was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.
Last week's champion, the "tween" concert film "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert," slipped to No. 3 with $10.5 million. The 10-day tally for the Walt Disney Co release rose to $53.4 million.
The Jessica Alba horror remake "The Eye" fell two spots to No. 4, also in its second week with $6.6 million; its tally stands at $21.5 million. It was released by Lionsgate, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
Two films tied at No. 5 with $5.7 million each: the Oscar-nominated smash "Juno" and the romantic comedy "27 Dresses." Fox Searchlight's "Juno," which received four nominations including best actress for Ellen Page, has earned $117.6 million after 10 weeks. Twentieth Century Fox's Katherine Heigl vehicle "27 Dresses" has stitched up $65.4 million after four weeks. Both studios are units of News Corp.
The only other Oscar nominee in the top 10, "There Will Be Blood," shared the No. 8 spot with Lionsgate's "Rambo" and Fox's "Meet the Spartans." Each reported about $4.1 million. Rankings will be clarified when final data are released on Monday.
"There Will Be Blood," which received eight nominations, has earned $26.8 million since opening in limited release on December 26. It inched past "Boogie Nights" to become director Paul Thomas Anderson's top movie, said Paramount Vantage, the Viacom Inc unit that released "Blood" in partnership with Disney's Miramax Films.
Editing by Eric Beech