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"Game' nets top position at box office

Basketball beat out romance, comedy and action as director Spike Lee's He Got Game stole the top box office spot in its opening weekend from previous champ The Big Hit.

He Got Game, starring Denzel Washington and real-life NBA player Ray Allen in a story about a convicted felon's relationship with his talented basketball-playing son, took in an estimated $8.1-million in its first weekend, according to preliminary figures released Sunday by Exhibitor Relations Co.

City of Angels, starring Nicolas Cage as an angel who has to choose between immortality and life as a human, remained in second with $6.6-million.

The Big Hit, an action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips and Antonio Sabato Jr., dropped from first to third in its second weekend with $6-million in domestic receipts.

Les Miserables, starring Liam Neeson, Uma Thurman and Geoffrey Rush in the Victor Hugo classic, opened at No. 4 with $5.3-million. Another new release, Black Dog with Patrick Swayze and Meat Loaf in an action story about truckers, opened fifth with $4.5-million.

The Oscar-winning Titanic and Paulie, a children's story about a talking parrot, tied for sixth with $4.1-million.

Estimated grosses for the top movies at North American theaters for Friday through Sunday are:

1. He Got Game, $8.1-million.

2. City of Angels, $6.6-million.

3. The Big Hit, $6-million.

4. Les Miserables, $5.3-million.

5. Black Dog, $4.5-million.

6. Paulie and Titanic, tied at $4.1-million.

8. The Object of My Affection, $3.5-million.

9. Lost in Space, $3.2-million.

10. Sliding Doors, $1.65-million.