“The film star Tom Cruise is being savaged at the American box office by a troupe of lovelorn birds,” the Times of London reports.

No, Cruise is not being attacked by birds in a remake of the Hitchcock classic by that name. He?s merely being overtaken at the box office by a movie I urge–no implore–you to see.

It?s called “March of the Penguins,” and if Hollywood made more beautiful, family-appropriate movies like this, the world would be a better place (and Hollywood wouldn?t be griping about bad box office).

Here?s the scoop:

“March of the Penguins, a low-budget wildlife film about the mating habits of the emperor penguin, is promising to be the surprise hit of the summer after pulling in larger audiences at the few cinemas where it has been shown than Cruise?s War of the Worlds and the other summer blockbuster, Batman Begins, combined.

“It has proved so popular in its first two weeks in 20 cinemas that it was opening at 350 others this weekend.

“?This film is awesome,? said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which analyses ticket-buying habits for Los Angeles studios. ?No one saw it coming and where it?s been released so far it?s outperforming all the big boys. It?s all down to word of mouth, friends? recommendations rather than studio hype.?

“The film — described by one critic as an avian version of When Harry Met Sally — was born with a classified advertisement in a French newspaper in 1991 that read: ?Wanted, biologist willing to spend 14 months at the end of the world.?

“Luc Jacquet, who at 24 had just graduated with a masters in animal biology from Lyons University, applied and found himself in Antarctica with a 35mm camera and instructions to ?follow the bloody birds around until they mate.”

The movie is visually thrilling; you don?t need a V-Chip, and none of the actors have expressed inane political views.