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LOS ANGELES, July 5 (Reuters) - In a rare tie at the North American box office, reigning champ "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and the new cartoon "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" each sold about $42.5 million worth of tickets during the three-day U.S. Independence Day holiday weekend, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.
Johnny Depp's gangster saga "Public Enemies" got off to a strong start at No. 3 with $26.2 million, a rare adult-oriented drama in a summer field dominated by effects-driven action movies.
Both "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," the third movie in 20th Century Fox's family franchise, and Universal Pictures' "Public Enemies" opened on Wednesday to take advantage of strong weekday attendance. Their respective totals stand at $67.5 million and $41 million.
A single champ will be determined on Monday, when the studios release their final data.
Paramount Pictures' "Transformers" sequel has quickly become the biggest film of the year, with sales rising to $293 million after 12 days. The title was previously held by Paramount's "Star Trek" with $250 million after 60 days.
Editing by Sandra Maler