LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Captain America: The Winter Soldier stayed strong at the North American box office, muscling out the competition to retain top spot for the third week running, industry estimates showed on Sunday.
The latest big-screen blockbuster starring Chris Evans as the iconic Marvel superhero took in US$26.6 million (S$33.3 million) over the weekend, figures from box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
All told, the film has earned more than US$201 million in North America since its debut earlier in the month, when it had the biggest April opening of all time.
This weeks performance meant Captain America maintained its lead against another sequel, animated children's movie Rio 2, a follow-up to the 2011 hit about a family of blue macaw parrots.
The movie, which features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles, took in US$22.5 million in its second weekend.
New release Heaven Is For Real, starring Greg Kinnear as the father of a four-year-old boy who wakes up from emergency surgery with a story about going to heaven and back. It raked in US$21.5 million for a close third place.
Another debut, Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp as a scientist who escapes death when his brain is uploaded into a huge computer, came in fourth place. It took in US$11.2 million at the box office.
Paranormal comedy A Haunted House 2 jumped up the charts to earn fifth place, with US$9.1 million after a month in theatres. The sequel to a 2013 film, it stars Marlon Wayans as a man plagued by ghosts and demons.
Kevin Costner's latest big-screen appearance - sports drama Draft Day - moved into sixth place.
The film, which sees Costner playing an American football team's general manager on the day of the NFL draft, picked up US$5.9 million.
Divergent, the dystopian tale of a young woman in a futuristic society, based on the popular young adult novel by the same name, reeled in US$5.8 million for seventh place.
Sinking from third to eighth spot was horror film Oculus, about an antique mirror possessed with evil spirits. It garnered US$5.2 million.
Rounding out the top ten, biblical epic Noah, starring Russell Crowe, earned US$5.0 million for ninth place and the religiously themed God's Not Dead, which tells the story of a college freshman who debates his atheist philosophy professor, dropped to tenth with US$4.8 million.