Los Angeles (Reuters) - Dumb And Dumber To, the sequel to the 1994 comedy that raised stupidity to an art form, led the American and Canadian box office this weekend, taking in US$38.1 million (S$49.4 million) and outmuscling last week's winner, Big Hero 6. Hero, Walt Disney Co's animated story of a boy and his robot, settled for a close second with US$36 million, according to estimates provided by tracking firm Rentrak.
Director Christopher Nolan's space adventure Interstellar collected US$29.2 million for third place. Dumb And Dumber To stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as dimwitted friends searching for the long-lost daughter of one of the buddies. The original film, Dumb And Dumber, was among 1994's biggest hits, with US$127.2 million in American ticket sales.
"We felt it was going to do over 30 million dollars, but this is bordering on 40 million dollars," said Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the film. "The timing was right for a comedy of this nature, one with broad appeal," she added, noting the studio successfully broadened the film's appeal to ethnic audiences, with Hispanics making up 38 per cent of ticket buyers.
Big Hero 6, which features the voices of Damon Wayans, Jr., James Cromwell and Maya Rudolph, has collected US$111.7 million in the United States and Canada since opening on Nov 7, for a global total of US$148 million.
Disney said the film helped propel the studio's strong year at the box office. On Friday it surpassed US$4 billion in global sales for the second time in its history.
New release Beyond The Lights, the story of a pop star struggling with the pressures of fame who falls in love with a policeman, took fourth place with US$6.5 million. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood's third film follows well-received titles Love & Basketball (2000) and The Secret Life Of Bees (2008).
Gone Girl, director David Fincher's box office hit starring Ben Affleck as a man suspected in his wife's disappearance, rounded out the top five with US$4.6 million, bringing its domestic haul to US$152.7 million.
Paramount, a unit of Viacom, distributed Interstellar. Independent studio Relativity released Beyond The Lights.