The women of Ocean's 8 steal a big lead at the box office

Cast members (from left) Cate Blanchett, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna pose at the world premiere of the film Ocean's 8 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, New York, US, on J
Cast members (from left) Cate Blanchett, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna pose at the world premiere of the film Ocean's 8 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, New York, US, on June 5, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The women of Ocean's 8 proved this weekend that they know how to steal the show - and much more - as the new heist flick took in an estimated US$41.5 million (S$55.4 million) in North American theaters.

With an all-star cast led by ever-popular Sandra Bullock and supported by Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Rihanna, the Warner Bros. film was Hollywood's latest experiment - after Ghostbusters - in replacing an all-male cast with female stars.

The result: One of the top 10 openings of the year so far, which also best three earlier Ocean's editions.

The film stars Bullock as Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean (originally played by George Clooney), as she assembles a gang of talented women to plan a seemingly impossible diamond heist from a glamorous gala in New York.

In second place in the three-day weekend was last weekend's leader, Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young version of the swashbuckling space pilot. The Disney film took in US$15.2 million, roughly half its previous weekend's total.

Third spot went to Deadpool 2 from 20th Century Fox, at US$13.7 million.

This latest in Marvel's X-men series stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role. Its worldwide ticket sales have surpassed US$650 million.

In fourth was a new film, Hereditary, at US$13 million the best opening ever for the A24 production company. The horror film, about a family haunted after its matriarch dies, stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne. Its decent opening came in spite of an R-rating and less-than-glowing reviews, including a D+ from CinemaScore.

In fifth was Disney/Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, at US$6.8 million. With a cast including Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch and Scarlett Johansson, the superstar-rich extravaganza has now taken in US$1.998 billion worldwide.

Also of note: Focus Features' tender documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor, about the life of "Mister Rogers" host Fred Rogers, took in US$470,000 as it opened on just 29 screens (a better per-screen average than any other top-25 film). It has a remarkable 99 per cent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Adrift (US$5.1 million) Book Club (US$4.2 million) Hotel Artemis (US$3.2 million) Upgrade (US$2.2 million) Life of the Party (US$2.1 million)