Star Wars stays aloft to top North America box office again

A fan dressed as Kyle Ren awaits a gala screening of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker in Cologne, Germany. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker stayed on a strong glide path in North American theatres, taking in an estimated US$73.6 million (S$100 million) for the three-day weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday (Dec 29).

The Disney film, marketed as a grand finale of the nine-film "Skywalker Saga," has had mixed reviews and was down considerably from last weekend's lofty US$177.4 million opening.

But it has compiled a strong domestic total of US$364.5 million.

It again maintained a big lead over the No. 2 film, Sony's Jumanji: The Next Level, an action sequel starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart, which had US$34.4 million in North American ticket sales for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

In third for the second straight week was Disney's Frozen II, at US$17 million. The animated musical film has Broadway star Idina Menzel voicing Queen Elsa in her latest adventures.

Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women has been brought to the screen many times - no fewer than seven, by Variety's count - but the new version from director Greta Gerwig has drawn strong reviews and netted US$16.2 million to place fourth in its debut this weekend.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson and Laura Dern, in the story of the joys and struggles of four sisters during the US Civil War.

In fifth was new Fox/Disney release Spies In Disguise, at US$13.4 million. The animated children's film features the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Knives Out (US$9.9 million) Uncut Gems (US$9.4 million) Bombshell (US$4.8 million) Cats (US$4.8 million) and Richard Jewell (US$3 million).

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