LOS ANGELES - Biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" bumped "Hunger Games" from the top of the North American box office, ending its three-week dominance, according to industry data Monday.
Starring Christian Bale as Moses rising up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, "Exodus" raked in US$24.1 million (S$31.6 million) in its debut weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
But moviegoers still flocked to see "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," in which Katniss Everdeen leads a rebellion against a future dystopian society. The film grossed US$12.7 million for the number two spot.
The latest release of the wildly popular series so far has earned a total of US$276.9 million in its four-week run in theatres.
The animated adventure comedy "Penguins of Madagascar" slid into third place from its number-two post last week, with US$7.2 million tallied over the weekend.
Not far behind was "Top Five," directed, written and starring Chris Rock playing a comedian trying to become a serious actor while grappling with his reality TV star fiancee about broadcasting their wedding.
The funnyman's film took in US$6.9 million in its fourth place debut weekend.
Disney's animated robot flick "Big Hero 6" raked in US$6.1 million for the fifth spot, after a six-week run in theatres.
Christopher Nolan's space odyssey "Interstellar," starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway was in sixth, hauling in US$5.5 million.
Seventh was "Horrible Bosses 2," the sequel to a 2011 workplace comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, bringing in US$4.6 million.
Screwball comedy sequel "Dumb and Dumber To" starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels on a hijinx-filled road trip fetched US$2.8 million to claim eighth place.
"The Theory of Everything," about the life of famed physicist Stephen Hawking, was ninth, earning US$2.5 million.
At the bottom of the top 10 was "Wild," starring Reese Witherspoon grappling with personal demons on a grueling three-month solo hike, which took in US$1.5 million.