‘Avengers’ still tops in N.America but ‘Pikachu’ shows spark

‘Avengers: Endgame’ has passed the US$2 billion mark worldwide, boosted by an all-star cast seen here at the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles on April 22. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Avengers: Endgame” led the North American box office for a third week running, but the cuddly creatures of a new “Pokemon” movie gave the superheroes a run for its money, industry watchers said Sunday.

The mega-blockbuster from Marvel Studios, a Disney subsidiary, took in an estimated US$63.1 million for the three-day weekend, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported.

That brought its domestic total to a whopping US$723.5 million.

With a global tally now nearing US$2.5 billion, “Avengers” appears to be on track to pass “Avatar” (US$2.79 billion) as the all-time top grossing film.

Positive reviews have helped, as has an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin.

Warner Bros.’ “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” took in a healthy US$58 million for the weekend’s second spot.

Based on a Nintendo video game series and subsequent anime series, “Pikachu” tells the story of how the fuzzy animated title character (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) teams up with a young boy (a live-action role played by Justice Smith) to seek the boy’s missing father.

Third place went to another new film, “The Hustle” from United Artists, at US$13.5 million.

The female-driven revamp of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway playing two women trying to scam an Internet millionaire earned less than glowing reviews, but that may have been offset by its popular stars.

Sony’s psychological thriller “The Intruder” dropped two spots from last week to fourth place with a take of US$6.6 million.

Michael Ealy and Meagan Good star as a young couple who buy a dream home in California’s Napa Valley, unaware that its previous owner (Dennis Quaid) plans to take it back – at all costs.

And in fifth, also down two spots, was Lionsgate’s odd-couple romantic comedy “Long Shot,” at US$6.1 million.

Seth Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, an out-of-work journalist with a romantic interest in his former babysitter (Charlize Theron), now a candidate for the US presidency.