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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" grossed a cool $13.8 million in North American theaters on Wednesday, marking Hollywood's biggest mid-week opening for an animated film.
The previous record Wednesday opening in the United States and Canada for a cartoon feature was "Shrek 2," which sold $11.8 million its first day in May 2004, according to the film tracking service Hollywood.com Box-Office.
The third installment of "Ice Age," the hit film franchise starring a computer-animated cast of prehistoric critters, also bested the blockbuster "Transformers" sequel, which sold $11.2 million on Wednesday, its eighth day in release.
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which opened last week at the top of the box office, has now amassed domestic ticket sales of about $240 million.
Box office analysts say "Transformers 2" has a chance of holding on to the No. 1 spot for the U.S. July 4th holiday weekend as a whole, but the 3-D movie "Ice Age" is considered the front-runner for first place.
A third-place finish is likely to go to the period gangster drama "Public Enemies," starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, which opened Wednesday with $8.2 million in U.S.-Canadian ticket sales.
"Ice Age" is distributed by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp. "Transformers" was released by Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures. "Public Enemies" is a release of Universal Pictures, controlled by General Electric.