Supernatural romance prevailed over adventure as "City of Angels" debuted as the weekend's top-grossing film, pushing "Lost in Space" and "Titanic" down the bestseller list, according to industry estimates Sunday.
"City of Angels" had $16.1 million in ticket sales. The remake of Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" stars Nicolas Cage as an angel who must choose between immortality or human life when he falls in love with a heart surgeon, played by Meg Ryan.
"Lost in Space," based on the 1960s television series, dropped to second place with $13.6 million, only a week after its debut derailed the 15-week run of "Titanic" as North America's No.1 film.
"Titanic" continued to draw moviegoers, grossing $8.7 million for third place in its 17th week of release, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.
Four other new films made the top 10 list.
"Species II," a sequel to the alien thriller starring Natasha Henstridge, was No. 4, earning $7.4 million in its first weekend.
Rapper-actor Ice Cube's directorial debut, "The Players Club," was No. 5 with $5.6 million and also earned the highest per-screen average of $9,444.
The film, about a young girl working her way through college as a stripper, was being shown on only 593 screens but had earned $8.1 million since opening Wednesday.
The movie banked on Ice Cube's popularity, said Al Shapiro, president of distribution at New Line Cinema.
"His fans know him and they're the ones coming out to see it," Shapiro said. "Cube has a distinct style and it makes the picture really interesting."
"My Giant," starring Billy Crystal, opened at No. 8 with $3.1 million behind "Neil Simon's The Odd Couple II." That new comedy, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, earned $5 million.
The rest of the list included the Bruce Willis thriller "Mercury Rising" in sixth place with $5.3 million, the reissue of "Grease" at No. 9 with $2.65 million--a drop of 52% in its third week--and "Primary Colors," at No. 10 with $2.6 million.
Oscar winners "As Good as It Gets" and "Good Will Hunting" pulled in a respectable $2 million each in their 16th and 19th weeks, respectively.
In limited release, "The Big One," a new documentary by "Roger and Me" producer Michael Moore that castigates U.S. factory flight overseas, grossed $145,000 on 33 screens.
Final figures were to be released today.