The Francis Lawrence-directed movie, which stars Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson as lovers in a circus, beat Marvel's Thor to take out the top spot in this week's ratings.
Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson action sequel Fast and Furious 5 came in fourth place but failed to beat science fiction thrillerSource Code, positioned at number three.
Something Borrowed drops down one place to settle for fifth after generating over $600,000 in ticket sales.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil jumps up from seventh to sixth, closely followed by Insidious and Your Highness in the seventh and eighth spots.
Russell Brand comedy Arthur and animated family film Rio both tumble down the chart to fill slots nine and 10.
The box office top ten in full (figures in Australian dollars):
1. (1) Water for Elephants - $2,628,730
2. (4) Thor - $1,312,421
3. (2) Source Code - $1,237,145
4. (1) Fast & Furious 5 - $1,217,031
5. (2) Something Borrowed - $681,188
6. (2) Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil - $450,143
7. (1) Insidious - $363,633
8. (1) Your Highness - $345,404
9. (4) Arthur - $262,028
10. (6) Rio - $189,267