Talking Mouse Squeaks Past Tom Hanks, Will Smith

'Stuart Little 2' tops weekend box office, but barely.

Only in Hollywood could a tiny white mouse battle giant spiders, hit men, space aliens and a nuclear submarine and emerge victorious.

According to box office estimates, “Stuart Little 2″ barely edged out “Road to Perdition” and “Men in Black II” to become the weekend’s #1 film. “Stuart Little 2″ earned an estimated $15.6 million, “Road to Perdition” took in $15.5 million and “Men in Black II” made $15 million in what was the most closely contested box-office race of the year so far.

“Lilo & Stitch” and “Minority Report” were similarly neck-and-neck during their shared opening weekend (see “Tom Cruise Threatened By Tubby Blue Alien” ).

This week’s #3 movie, “Men in Black II,” has made close to $160 million since debuting three weeks ago. Last week, the Tom Hanks mob drama “Road to Perdition” was unable to dethrone the Will Smith/ Tommy Lee Jones comedy sequel (see ” ’Black’ Slays Dragons, ’Perdition’ While Busta Smokes ’Croc’ “ ), though it did hold on to #2 this week.

Harrison Ford’s nuclear submarine drama “K-19: The Widowmaker” surfaced at #4 over the weekend, netting a healthy $13.1 million opening. Giant spider flick “Eight Legged Freaks,” the weekend’s other new movie (see “Killer Russian Sub And Giant Spiders Attack: What Is This, 1955?” ), landed at #7 with an estimated $6.7 million.

The rest of the top 10 includes Adam Sandler’s “Mr. Deeds” at #5 with $7.3 million for an overall total of $107.6 million in 4 weeks of release; “Reign of Fire” (see “Summer Film Season Heats Up With Studs, Fire-Breathing Dragons” ) at #6 with $7.1 million for an overall total of $29 million in 2 weeks of release; the Busta Rhymes-led horror sequel “Halloween Resurrection” (see “Busta Rhymes ’Flabbergasted’ By ’Halloween: Resurrection’ “ ) at #8 with $5.4 million; “Lilo & Stitch” at #9 with $5.1 million for an overall take of $128.5 million in 5 weeks; and “The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course” at #10 with $4.8 million in its second week of release. “Minority Report” slipped out of the top 10 for the first time since it came out 5 weeks ago, earning $4.4 million to land at #11 with an overall take of $118 million.

Next week, cinema ticket takers can look forward to the undoubtedly strong draw of “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (see “Seth Green Unafraid To Be Outshined In ’Austin Powers’ “ ).