DreamWorks Animation's festive movie, featuring the voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher, takes in £1.6 million from its 495 locations to knock Skyfall into second place.
Seven Psychopaths is the only new release to trouble the top ten, earning £1.1 million to land in third place. Twilight finale Breaking Dawn - Part 2, while Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! is close behind at number five.
The likes of So Undercover, The Man with the Iron Fists, The Oranges and Celeste and Jesse Forever all opened last week, but failed to make a dent in the top ten. The most successful was Miley Cyrus's teen comedy, which landed at number 14 with just £99,340 from 283 UK locations.
The arrival of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tomorrow (December 13) will likely see a changeover at the number one spot next week. Life of Pi and Jack Reacher are also likely to figure significantly over the Christmas period.
The UK box office top ten in full:
1. (3) Rise of the Guardians - £1,602,689
2. (1) Skyfall - £1,428,708
3. (-) Seven Psychopaths - £1,121,679
4. (2) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - £980.190
5. (4) Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! - £966,400
6. (5) Silver Linings Playbook - £446,324
7. (6) Great Expectations - £339,375
8. (8) Argo - £216,892
9. (9) End of Watch - £143,674
10. (10) Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - £138,753
Watch Chris Pine discuss Rise of the Guardians with Digital Spy below: