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Angry Birds soars to top of box office

Do Not UseDo Not Use 23/05/2016

The Angry Birds Movie has knocked Captain America off the top spot of the North American box office chart in its first week of release.

The film, based on the video game, made $39m (£27m) at the weekend, pushing the Disney Marvel caper into second place in its fourth week with $33.1m (£23m).

In third came new release Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising with $21.8M (£15m).

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe's The Nice Guys opened in fourth, making $11m (£8m) from a low-key 2,865 screens.

The Angry Birds Movie has been adapted from the game made by Rovio Animation at a cost of $73m (£50m) and has already done well internationally, raking in $150m (£104m) worldwide, according to its distributors Sony.

"It's very difficult turning a video game property into a successful movie,'' said Josh Greenstein, Sony's president of worldwide marketing and distribution.

"To use a bad pun, we are flying high."

The animation features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride as the feathered stars.

It is set on an island populated by happy, flightless birds except for angry bird Red, voiced by Sudeikis, speedy Chuck, Gad's character, and Bomb, voiced by McBride.

The film has received mixed reviews but as a family-friendly feature, it is expected to do well over the coming Memorial Weekend holiday, said market analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

"Families are always looking for out-of-the-home content," said Mr Dergarabedian, adding that this is the latest in a string of successful PG-rated films including The Jungle Book and Zootopia.

"PG is the hot new rating now. There used to be a stigma that younger teens wouldn't be interested. The numbers prove that when you go after the broadest base possible, you can be highly successful."

Captain America's weekend takings took its total domestic earnings to $347.4m (£240m) and, even in its fourth week in cinemas, outshone comedies Neighbours 2 and The Nice Guys.

Sequel Neighbours 2, again starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron, made less than half of its predecessor's first week takings of $49m (£34m) when it opened in 2014.

Meanwhile, the R-rated 70s-set buddy comedy The Nice Guys did not do as well as many critics predicted even with its limited release, starring as it does two such big box office names.

The film, which sees Gosling as a bumbling detective and Crowe as an enforcer working in LA, has had a 90% scoring awarded to it by review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney's The Jungle Book rounded out the top five films making $11m (£8m) in its seventh week.

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