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Mission Impossible clings to top spot

Los Angeles

TOM Cruise continued to test the limits of the possible this weekend as Mission Impossible - Fallout clung for a second week to the top spot in North American theatres, beating new Disney film "Christopher Robin, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported.

Paramount's Mission, the sixth stunt-filled edition in the popular franchise, took in an estimated US$35 million for the three-day weekend.

Critics and audiences have warmed to the film, in which Cruise again does his own vertigo-inducing, cliff-hanging, exploding-car stunts.

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Disney's live-animated Christopher Robin placed second, at US$25 million.

Inspired by AA Milne's classic Winnie-the-Pooh books, it tells the story of a now grown-up and stressed-out Christopher reuniting with his old stuffed friend and relearning the joys of childlike imagination.

The film stars Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, along with the voices of Brad Garrett and Jim Cummings.

In third was another new release, Lionsgate's The Spy Who Dumped Me, at US$12.4 million. The action comedy stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon as friends being chased frantically through Europe after a former boyfriend turns out to be a CIA agent with a pack of killers hot on his trail.

The star power of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - with its toe-tapping ABBA soundtrack and gorgeous Greek scenery - helped keep the Universal film afloat in fourth place, taking in US$9.1 million for a worldwide total to date of US$231 million.

Its cast includes Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Cher and Pierce Brosnan.

In fifth was Sony's The Equalizer 2, with superstar Denzel Washington playing the part of a quiet former black-ops agent who is drawn back into action to avenge a friend's death. Its take was US$8.8 million in its third week out.

Also of note: Disney has announced that Black Panther has taken in more than US$700 million in North America since its release in February, joining only Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar in that exclusive category.

Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (US$8.2 million); Ant-Man and the Wasp (US$6.2 million); The Darkest Minds (US$5.8 million); Incredibles 2 (US$5 million); and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (US$4.9 million). AFP