'The Town' is the toast of the box office

the-town-2.jpg "The Town" held its opening-day lead at the box office and staked a claim as the weekend's top movie, beating forecasts by a few million dollars.

The crime drama, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, earned $23.8 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates. It held steady after an $8.4 million opening day on Friday and finished ahead of predictions that had it topping out at a little less than $20 million.

"Easy A" came in second for the weekend with an estimated $18.2 million, slightly below what it had been forecast to make but still a healthy return for a relatively low-budget movie. The comedy stars Emma Stone as a high-school student whose fib about a sexual encounter spins out of control.