Record-breaking blockbuster "The Avengers" stayed atop North America's box offices for a third straight week, easily outgunning new arrival "Battleship," industry data showed Monday.
The comic book superhero blockbuster made $55.6 million over the weekend in North America, said box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The film has become the highest-grossing movie in Walt Disney Studios history with global earnings so far of $1.18 billion, the fourth highest total of all time, it said.
"The Avengers" -- which include Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor -- was directed by cult favorite Joss Whedon in collaboration with Marvel Comics and made for an estimated $220 million.
"The Avengers" pounded new release "Battleship," which earned the number two spot and about $25.5 million in its debut weekend.
Trailing "Battleship" was comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's wacky "The Dictator," which scored a third place finish and $17.4 million in its premier weekend.
Newcomer "What to Expect When You're Expecting" opened in fifth place with $10.5 million, followed by "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a comedic drama about British retirees in India, that netted $3.2 million.
In the seventh spot was smash action hit "The Hunger Games." The movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, earned $3.0 million and has raked in more than $387 million in North America since its opening.
Romantic comedy "Think Like A Man" dropped to eighth place earning $2.7 million, followed by tearjerker "The Lucky One," an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book starring Zac Efron of "High School Musical" fame as a US soldier back from Iraq. The movie made $1.8 million.
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits," a children's animation film from the studio that produced the "Wallace and Gromit" series was in 10th place earning $1.6 million.
Source: AFP Global Edition