The animated release reunites Johnny Depp with his Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and it proved an auspicious reunion as the film opened top on an estimated $38m.

Rango, released by Paramount and produced by Nickelodeon Movies, GK Films and ILM, currently ranks as the number one film worldwide following the $16.5m estimated international launch through PPI.

Universal’s sci-fi thriller The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt opened second on $20.9m and CBS Films’ fantasy Beastly with Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens debuted third on $10.1m.

Last weekend’s champion Hall Pass from the Farrelly Bros fell three places to number four on $9m for $27m after two weekends and Gnomeo And Juliet placed fifth in its fourth weekend on $6.9m for $83.7m through Buena Vista.

Oscar winner The King’s Speech benefited from its four statuettes last weekend as it climbed one place to number seven in the 15th weekend and added $6.5m for $123.8m. Black Swan starring lead actress Academy Award winner Natalie Portman ranks 15th on $105.1m after 14 weekends and True Grit in 16th has amassed $168.7m after 11 weekends.

Relativity Media’s comedy Take Me Home Tonight starring Anna Faris and Topher Grace opened poorly in 11th place on $3.5m from 2,003.

Kevin Smith’s horror film Red State enjoyed a superb one-night-only preview show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, where it set a per-screen average year-to-date high of $161,590.

Smith is self-distributing Red State and outlined his plans back in January to a Sundance audience following the film’s world premiere. The Red State Tour of select cities in the US through SModcast Pictures started at Radio City and will play into April before the nationwide release on Oct 19.

Next weekend’s wide releases are: Sony’s alien invasion film Battle: Los Angeles; Buena Vista’s animation Mars Needs Moms; and Warner Bros’ drama Red Riding Hood starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman and Lukas Haas.

Estimated Top 10 North America Mar 4-6, 2010
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Rango (Paramount) PPI $38m –
2 (-) The Adjustment Bureau (Universal) UPI $20.9m –
3 (-) Beastly (CBS Films) $10.1m –
4 (1) Hall Pass (Warner Bros/New Line) WBPI $9m $27m
5 (2) Gnomeo And Juliet (Buena Vista) Pathe/WDSMPI $6.9m $83.7m
6 (3) Unknown (Warner Bros) WBPI/StudioCanal $6.6m $53.1m
7 (8) The King’s Speech (TWC) FilmNation $6.5m $123.8m
8 (5) Just Go With It (Sony) SPRI $6.5m $88.2m
9 (4) I Am Number Four (Buena Vista-DreamWorks) WDSMPI $5.7m $46.4m
10 (6) Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Paramount) PPI $4.3m $68.9m