The Martian rockets to top of North America box office

A scene from the box office-topping The Martian, starring Matt Damon.
A scene from the box office-topping The Martian, starring Matt Damon. PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Martian dominated the North American box office in its first week in theatres, taking in US$55 million, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The critically-acclaimed blockbuster starring Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars was a hit with the general public as well, taking in nearly twice the average daily revenue as its closest rival from Friday to Sunday.

In a distant second was Hotel Transylvania 2, which scared up US$33 million after leading the box office last week.

The sequel, featuring an all-star cast voicing animated ghouls, has brought in $90.5 million in its two weeks in theatres, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The thriller "Sicario," featuring Benicio del Toro as a brooding and shadowy agent on a counternarcotics task force, jumped from tenth to third over the weekend, taking in $12.1 million.

In its second week in theatres, The Intern fell from second to fourth, with US$11.6 million in box office receipts.

The film stars Robert De Niro, who at 70 takes an internship at a fashion website whose founder is played by Anne Hathaway.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials fell to fifth after debuting at the top of the box office two weeks ago.

The second film in the Maze Runner trilogy based on popular young adult science-fiction novels earned US$7.7 million over the weekend.

True crime biopic Black Mass, about Irish-American mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, remained in the middle of the pack in its third week, at sixth place with US$5.9 million.

Thriller Everest, in which a group of climbers find themselves engulfed in a blizzard on the side of the iconic mountain, dropped from fourth to seventh place in its third week out, with US$5.5 million.

The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan's low-budget thriller about a visit to grandma's house gone awry, slipped to eighth, bringing in US$3.9 million.

In its sixth week in theatres, War Room,which centres on a struggling couple who finds help through prayer, held on to come in ninth with US$2.8 million in sales.

The Perfect Guy, about a woman's tryst with a man who isn't what he seems, earned US$2.4 million, finishing tenth.

And in its first weekend in theatres, The Walk, about French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, earned US$1.6 million in limited release, good enough for eleventh.