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Latest Spider-Man spin-off scales box-office heights

Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Los Angeles

A CRITICALLY adored animated Spider-Man, based on the comic-book story of biracial teen Miles Morales, led the weekend box office in North America, fending off several other new releases.

Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse collected US$35.4 million from 3,813 theatres in the United States and Canada, Comscore said on Monday.

Analysts at Box Office Pro were forecasting US$36 million. The picture cost US$90 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo.

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The first black Spider-Man, an Afro-Latino character created in 2011, was inspired by US President Barack Obama and actor Donald Glover.

He appears in the comics after the death of Peter Parker. The first film reference was in last year's live-action reboot Homecoming, where Glover appears as a character who reveals he has a nephew named Miles.

RottenTomatoes gave the picture a 98 per cent score.

Awards contenders opened or expanded to more theatres.

The Favourite, a Fox Searchlight film about Britain's 18th century monarch, Queen Anne, had sales of US$2.6 million.

It has the fourth-best odds to win the Oscar for best picture. If Beale Street Could Talk, via Annapurna Pictures, earned US$224,476 in limited release.

It's the first English-language adaptation of a James Baldwin work and is directed by Barry Jenkins, whose Moonlight won best picture last year.

Mortal Engines, an effects-heavy US$100 million young-adult book adaptation, collected US$7.56 million for Universal Pictures, making a profitable theatrical run problematic.

It was outdone by Clint Eastwood's The Mule, came in second place with US$17.5 million, in line with the Box Office Pro forecast of US$17 million.

Fox trotted out a PG version of Deadpool, trying to attract a younger crowd by bleeping out the foul-mouthed antihero's cuss words. It took in US$2.68 million.

Year to date, the North American box-office take of US$11.1 billion is up 8.6 per cent from the same period last year. BLOOMBERG