'The Martian' blasts to top of N. America box office

US actresses Kate Mara (L), Kristen Wiig (2nd L) and Jessica Chastain (R) and US actor Matt Damon (2nd R) pose for photographers as they arrive for the European premiere of "The Martian" in London's Leicester square on September 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Niklas Halle'n)

Los Angeles (AFP) - "The Martian" blasted to the top of the North American box office in its first week in theaters, taking in $54.3 million, industry data showed Monday.

The critically-acclaimed blockbuster stars Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars who must come up with creative ways to survive on the Red Planet.

A distant second was "Hotel Transylvania 2," which scared up $33.2 million after leading the box office last week.

The sequel, featuring an all-star cast voicing animated ghouls, has brought in $90.7 million in its two weeks on the big screen, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The thriller "Sicario," featuring Benicio del Toro as a brooding and shadowy agent on a counternarcotics task force, jumped from tenth to third over the weekend, taking in $12.1 million.

In its second week in theaters, "The Intern" fell from second to fourth, with $11.7 million in box office receipts.

The film stars Robert De Niro, who at 70 takes an internship at a fashion website whose founder is played by Anne Hathaway.

"Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" fell to fifth in its third week in theaters.

The second film in the "Maze Runner" trilogy based on popular young adult science-fiction novels earned $7.8 million over the weekend.

True crime biopic "Black Mass," about Irish-American mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, remained roughly in the middle of the pack in its third week, at sixth place with $5.8 million.

Thriller "Everest," in which a group of climbers find themselves engulfed in a blizzard on the side of the iconic mountain, dropped from fourth to seventh place in its third week out, with $5.6 million.

"The Visit," M. Night Shyamalan's low-budget thriller about a trip to grandma's house gone awry, slipped to eighth, bringing in just under $4 million.

In its sixth week in theaters, "War Room," which centers on a struggling couple who finds help through prayer, held on to come in ninth with $2.8 million in sales.

"The Perfect Guy," about a woman's tryst with a man who isn't what he seems, earned $2.4 million, rounding out the top 10.

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