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AALIYAH 'QUEEN' OF US BOX OFFICE!

'Queen Of the Damned' triumphs...

Almost six months after she died in a plane crash, R&B singer Aaliyah has topped the US cinema box office with her vampire flick 'QUEEN OF THE DAMNED'.

The film took $15.2 million (£10.6 million) over its opening weekend. In the picture, Aaliyah plays a 6,000 year Egyptian queen keen on taking over the world. She stars opposite Irish actor Stuart Townsend. The film is based on Ann Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' novels, as was the Tom Cruise 1994 vehicle 'Interview With The Vampire'.

Director Michael Rymer last week defended the release of the film, coming as it does soon after Aaliyah 's death. He said it was a fitting tribute and something the singer was hugely proud of. Aaliyah died last August shortly before filming was completed. Her brother voiced the uncompleted parts of her script.

Pop princess Britney Spears had a second successful week on the film chart. Her debut feature 'Crossroads' lifted $7.1million (£5 million) and dropped slightly to fifth place on the charts.

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