LOS ANGELES - Dystopian thriller "Insurgent" blasted its way to top spot at the North American box-office this weekend as Sean Penn action movie "The Gunman" fired a blank, estimated figures showed Sunday.
The second big-screen adaptation based on Veronica Roth's best-selling "Divergent" trilogy, "Insurgent" opened with USD$54 million (S$74.3 million) according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.The film stars rising talent Shailene Woodley as the youthful heroine Beatrice Prior battling a powerful alliance threatening her world in a post-apocalyptic Chicago.
The opening numbers for "Insurgent" relegated Disney's live action "Cinderella" remake to second spot. The movie, starring Lily James as the enchanted princess and Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother, took USD$34.5 million in its second weekend.
Action flick "Run All Night," featuring grizzled tough-guy Liam Neeson playing a hit man going up against the mob, was third with USD$5.1 million in its second weekend. But it was a disappointing debut for Oscar-winning actor Penn's latest film, "The Gunman", which earned only USD$5 million on opening. Despite a stellar supporting cast featuring Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance, the movie by "Taken" director Pierre Morel has suffered a critical mauling to date, dismissed by one reviewer as a "dull, generic retread."
Fifth place was occupied by British spy spoof "Kingsman: The Secret Service," which took USD$4.6 million in its fifth week.
Sixth spot meanwhile went to religious drama "Do You Believe", another debutant this week with a disappointing opening haul. The film starring Mira Sorvino and Sean Astin earned just USD$4 million.
Sequel "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" featuring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Richard Gere, pulled in just under USD$3.5 million for seventh place.
"Focus," a con-artist flick featuring Will Smith as a crook who takes on a protege played by Margot Robbie had USD$3.3 million in estimated ticket sales for eighth.
Artificial intelligence thriller "Chappie" continued its slide down the rankings, earning USD$2.5 million to finish ninth.
"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," remained a presence on the box office charts, taking in USD$2.3 million in ticket sales to round out the top 10.