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'Argo' finally reaches top of the box office with estimated $12.4M

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Ben Affleck stars as CIA agent Tony Mendez, center, in 'Argo,' a rescue thriller about the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

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LOS ANGELES — It took three weeks, but "Argo" finally found its way to the top of the box office.

The Warner Bros. thriller from director and star Ben Affleck, inspired by the real-life rescue of six U.S. embassy workers during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, made nearly $12.4 million this weekend, according to Sunday studio estimates. "Argo" had been in second place the past two weeks and has now made about $60.8 million total.

Debuting at No. 3 was the sprawling, star-studded "Cloud Atlas," which made a disappointing $9.4 million. The nearly three-hour drama, also from Warner Bros., was co-directed by siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer and features an ensemble cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant playing multiple roles.

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