The result surpassed The Transporter 2's 2005 $20.1m launch with ease to become the biggest Labor Day debut in history.
In fact no film has grossed more over this holiday weekend, as Halloween overtook the $29m tally of The Sixth Sense in 1999, which played over Labor Day in its fifth weekend and was the previous highest.
Overall the combined tally of summer films climbed to a record-breaking $4.18bn according to early estimates, which beat by some margin the previous record of $3.95bn set in 2004.
Higher tickets prices account for the real rise, as actual attendance of 610m ranked as the fifth biggest. Pre-television era attendances were generally higher, and the modern record of 653m was set in 2002. With a multitude of competing entertainment platforms these days, the 2002 mark will be extremely hard to beat.
Sony's comedy Superbad slipped to second place and is on the cusp of crossing $100m after adding $15.6m for $92.4m in its third weekend.
Rogue Pictures' ping-pong comedy Balls Of Fury with Dan Fogler and Christopher Walken opened in third place on $13.8m, and Fox's revenge thriller Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon opened in eighth place on $5.2m.
Universal's spy thriller The Bourne Ultimatum finished in fourth place and crossed $200m after raising its tally by $13.2m to $202.6m. Fox's The Simpsons Movie exited the top 10 for the first time in six weeks, and ranked 11th on $178.4m.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Lionsgate's Western remake 3:10 To Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale; New Line's action romp Shoot 'Em Up with Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci; and Sony's comedy The Brothers Solomon with Will Arnett and Will Forte.
Estimated Top 10 North America Aug 31-Sept 3, 2007
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) Halloween (MGM) The Weinstein Company $31m -
2 (1) Superbad (Sony) SPRI $15.6m $92.4m
3 (-) Balls Of Fury (Rogue) Focus Features Int'l $13.8m $16.8m
4 (2) The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal) UPI $13.2m $202.6m
5 (3) Rush Hour 3 (New Line) NLI $10.4m $122.2m
6 (4) Mr Bean's Holiday Universal (UPI) $8.1m $21.1m
7 (6) The Nanny Diaries (MGM) The Weinstein Company $6.4m $16.5m
8 (-) Death Sentence (Fox) Hyde Park Int'l $5.2m -
9 (5) War (Lionsgate) Lionsgate $5.1m $17.9m
10 (8) Stardust (Paramount) PPI $3.9m $31.9m