'Deadpool' eclipses 'Gods of Egypt' at the box office

LOS ANGELES - Superhero blockbuster "Deadpool" dominated the North American box office over Oscar weekend, beating out the fantasy epic "Gods of Egypt," which staged a disappointing second-place debut, industry estimates showed Sunday.

Starring Ryan Reynolds as a Marvel Comics character, "Deadpool" took in an estimated $31.5 million (S$44.38 million), industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said. That gives the film a projected total of $286 million after it clocked the fastest rise of any R-rated movie in history following its debut three weeks ago.

"Gods of Egypt" - which had a production budget of $140 million in hopes it would launch a new franchise for Lionsgate - may be the year's first flop instead. Starring Gerard Butler as the god of darkness who plunges the Egyptian empire into chaos, the film took in an estimated $14 million over the weekend.

Trailing in third place was "Kung Fu Panda 3" - Dreamworks' computer-animated comedy that follows the adventures of Po as he evolves from martial arts student to teacher - which took in an estimated $9 million.

Sony's Biblical resurrection tale "Risen" came in fourth place with $7 million during its second weekend. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the film stars Joseph Fiennes, who plays a Roman army officer investigating the mysterious disappearance of Jesus's body.

Fox's "Eddie the Eagle" also debuted this weekend, landing in fifth with earnings of $6.3 million. The sports comedy starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton follows the story of British ski jumper Michael "Eddie" Edwards, who emerged as a folk hero after finishing last at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were: - "Triple Nine," $6.1 million - "How to Be Single," $5.2 million - "The Witch," $5 million - "Race," $4.3 million - "The Revenant," $3.8 million