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Deadpool sequel surges to box office lead

The Marvel Comics film netted US$125m in North America and US$176m abroad, the biggest foreign debut for an R-rated title

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Josh Brolin plays the evil Cable in Deadpool 2. He also plays world-destroying villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, which led North American ticket sales before Deadpool bumped it off.

Los Angeles

ANOTHER weekend, another US$100-million-plus superhero opening: This time it was 20th Century Fox's Deadpool 2, with an estimated US$125 million take in North American theatres and a huge debut overseas, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday.

The Marvel Comics film netted US$176 million abroad, the biggest foreign debut ever for an R-rated title, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The movie features Ryan Reynolds playing the foul-mouthed and irreverent title character as he forms an X-Force team to protect a young mutant from the evil Cable (Josh Brolin).For an uber-bad guy, Brolin is having a very good week. He also plays world-destroying villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, which led North American ticket sales before Deadpool bumped it off.

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Still packing a decent punch, Avengers - starring Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth - took in US$28.7 million over the three-day weekend, pushing its global take past US$1.8 billion.

Third in theatres was Paramount's new rom-com Book Club, at US$12.5 million. The film stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as ageing friends who decide to read the steamy Fifty Shades of Grey and find it, um, expanding their literary and personal horizons.

In fourth was Life of the Party, a Warner Bros comedy, at US$7.7 million. Melissa McCarthy, who co-wrote the script with director Ben Falcone, plays a newly divorced mother who returns to college, only to find herself in class with her (deeply embarrassed) daughter.

And in fifth was Universal's thriller Breaking In, at US$6.5 million. Review website Rotten Tomatoes dismissed the film as a "disposable action thriller" but praised Gabrielle Union's performance as a mother trying to protect her children from hostage-takers.

A weekend surprise was Magnolia's RBG, about US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feisty 85-year-old, with unusually strong ticket sales for a documentary.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Show Dogs (US$6 million), Overboard (US$4.7 million), A Quiet Place (US$4 million), Rampage (US$1.5 million), RBG (US$1.3 million). AFP