Coco, a charmer from the Land of the Dead, lives on

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Disney-Pixar animated comedy Coco showed serious staying power this weekend in North American theatres, holding to the top spot for its third week running while taking in an estimated US$18.3 million (S$24.73 million), industry website Exhibitor Relations reported.

The colourful film tells the story of Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a young Mexican who longs to become a musician despite his family's unrelenting ban on music. He stumbles into the Land of the Dead, where trickster Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) helps him unravel a surprising family secret.

Coco has taken in US$135.5 million since its release over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and is already the top-grossing film ever in Mexico. It is one of just four films to lead the North American box office for three weekends in a row this year, according to Variety.com.

But that is expected to change with the much-anticipated release next week of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, predicted to net up to a mammoth US$200 million in its opening weekend.

Second on North American screens this weekend was Warner Bros.'s Justice League, taking in US$9.6 million, for a four-week total of US$212 million. Its all-star cast features Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, plus Ciaran Hinds as a supervillain.

Third was Lionsgate's feel-good film Wonder, which netted US$8.5 million. The movie, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, tells the story of a determined fifth-grade boy with a facial deformity who must deal with rudeness and bullying by schoolmates.

Shooting up to fourth place was The Disaster Artist, distributed by A24, a comedy-drama directed by James Franco about the making of 2003 cult movie The Room, reputedly one of the worst films ever (it made a grand total of US$2,000 when first released). Starring Franco, Seth Rogen and Alison Brie, Disaster took in US$6.4 million for the weekend.

And in fifth was Thor: Ragnarok, featuring the self-effacing humour of Chris Hemsworth as the powerful Norse god and Cate Blanchett as death goddess Hela. The Disney film netted US$6.3 million, bumping up its six-week total to US$301 million.

Rounding out the list were:

Daddy's Home 2 (US$6 million)

Murder on the Orient Express (US$5.1 million)

The Star (US$3.7 million)

Lady Bird (US$3.5 million)

Just Getting Started (US$3.2 million)