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Bourne tops US box office with $US60m open

Associated Press Associated Press 1/08/2016 Lindsey Bahr

Between the return of Matt Damon as super spy Jason Bourne, the promise of laughing along with the raunchy comedy Bad Moms and the dark internet thriller Nerve, all of which had strong debuts, there was something new for everyone in US cinemas this weekend.

Even after a nearly 10-year hiatus, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne still draws a significant audience. The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel raked in a healthy $US60 million ($A79.02 million) to be No.1 in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

Not adjusted for inflation, it's the second highest opening of the series, behind The Bourne Ultimatum's $US69.3 million debut in 2007 - the last time Damon appeared as the Robert Ludlum-created character.

With a nine-year gap between films, Universal kept awareness high in the lead up to the release with airings of the Matt Damon Bourne trilogy on eight of NBCUniversal's networks.

"In the exit polls, the No.1 reason for people checking it out was the previous films," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "Audiences were ready for it and satisfied."

According to exit data, audiences were 55 per cent male, and 60 per cent over the age of 35.

The original R-rated comedy Bad Moms, from the writers of The Hangover, also had reason to crack open the champagne this weekend. The STX Entertainment film, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as a trio of mums on the edge, blew past its $US20 million budget to take in earning $US23.4 million in its first days in theatres.

Bad Moms, which debuted at No.3, just barely missed second place to Star Trek Beyond, which fell 59 per cent in its second weekend in cinemas with $US24 million. The Paramount sequel has earned $US105.7 million to date.

The Secret Life of Pets continues to perform extremely well, taking fourth place with $US18.2 million even after four weekends in theatres.

In fifth place, the micro-budget thriller Lights Out took in $US10.8 million. The film cost only $US5 million to make and has already grossed $US42.9 million.

The youthful thriller Nerve also did well, taking in $US15.1 million since launching on Wednesday. It earned $US9 million over the weekend for an 8th place finish. Starring Dave Franco and Emma Roberts, Nerve cost a reported $US20 million to make.

Overall, the box office is up nearly 30 per cent from this weekend last year and up three per cent for the year.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to comScore.

1. Jason Bourne, $US60 million.

2. Star Trek Beyond, $US24 million.

3. Bad Moms, $US23.4 million.

4. The Secret Life of Pets, $US18.2 million.

5. Lights Out, $US10.8 million.

6. Ice Age: Collision Course," $US10.5 million.

7. Ghostbusters, $US9.8 million.

8. Nerve, $US9 million.

9. Finding Dory, $US4.2 million.

10. The Legend of Tarzan, $US2.4 million.

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