'Deadpool' upends competition at N. America box office

Los Angeles - Superhero movie " Deadpool" throttled its competitors at the North American box office for a second weekend, taking in $55 million (S$77.2 million), well ahead of the other top earners, industry estimates showed Sunday.

Starring Ryan Reynolds as a Marvel Comics character, the film has raked in a projected total of $235.4 million - the fastest rise of any R-rated movie in history - after blasting records for February when it debuted last weekend.

Far behind in second 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 $12.5 million, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, it has garnered $117.1 million in the four weeks since its release.

Sony's Biblical resurrection tale "Risen" debuted in third place with $11.8 million. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the film stars Joseph Fiennes, who plays a Roman army officer investigating the mysterious disappearance of Jesus's body.

"The Witch" also debuted this weekend, coming in fourth with earnings of $8.7 million. Opening a year after it caused a splash at the Sundance Film Festival, the horror film follows a Puritan family battling evil in 17th-century New England.

"How to be single," a comedy about solo life set in New York City starring Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann, came in fifth during its second weekend with projected sales of $8.2 million.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were: - "Race," $7.3 million - "Zoolander 2," $5.5 million - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," $3.84 million - "The Revenant," $3.80 million - "Hail, Caesar!" $2.6 million