Deadpool upends competition at North America box office

Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool. PHOTO TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Superhero movie Deadpool throttled its competitors at the North American box office for a second weekend, taking in US$55 million (S$77.29 million), well ahead of the other top earners, industry estimates showed Sunday.

Starring Ryan Reynolds as a Marvel Comics character, the film has raked in a projected total of US$235.4 million - the fastest rise of any R-rated movie in history - after blasting records for February when it debuted last weekend.

Far behind in second place was Kung Fu Panda 3 - Dreamworks' computer-animated comedy that follows the adventures of Po as he evolves from martial arts student to teacher - which took in an estimated US$12.5 million, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, it has garnered US$117.1 million in the four weeks since its release.

Sony's Biblical resurrection tale Risen debuted in third place with US$11.8 million. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the film stars Joseph Fiennes, who plays a Roman army officer investigating the mysterious disappearance of Jesus's body.

The Witch also debuted this weekend, coming in fourth with earnings of US$8.7 million. Opening a year after it caused a splash at the Sundance Film Festival, the horror film follows a Puritan family battling evil in 17th-century New England.

How to be single, a comedy about solo life set in New York City starring Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann, came in fifth during its second weekend with projected sales of US$8.2 million.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were: - Race, US$7.3 million - Zoolander 2, US$5.5 million - Star Wars: The Force Awakens, US$3.84 million - The Revenant, US$3.80 million - Hail, Caesar! US$2.6 million.