'Kung Fu Panda' kicks up box office rankings

Los Angeles - "Kung Fu Panda 3" kicked its way to the top of the North American box office over the weekend, bouncing "The Revenant" to the number two spot, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The computer-animated comedy from Fox - the third installment of the "Kung Fu Panda" franchise - took in an estimated US$41 million (S$58 million) its first weekend in North American theaters, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Following the adventures of Po as he evolves from martial arts student to teacher, the US-Chinese production features the voices of stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie.

"The Revenant," a grisly tale of back-country survival and revenge starring Leonardo di Caprio and showered with Oscar nominations, settled into second after topping the rankings last week.

Exhibitor Relations estimated the film made US$12.4 million its sixth week in theaters.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens," continued its blockbuster run for a seventh week, pulling in another US$10.8 million. It has piled up US$895.4 million in North American ticket sales in seven weeks.

Fourth was "The Finest Hours," a rescue-at-sea drama that made an estimated $10.3 million on its debut weekend.

Starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, it's based on the true story of a 1952 rescue of a ship that breaks apart during a raging New England nor'easter.

Comedy "Ride Along 2" was fifth with US$8.3 million in receipts. A sequel starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, the comedy has been in theaters for three weeks.

Rounding out the top ten were: - "The Boy," US$7.9 million - "Dirty Grandpa," US$7.6 million - "The 5th Wave," US$7 million - "Fifty Shades of Black," US$6.2 million - "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," US$6 million