LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Other Woman," a female-centered comedy about marital infidelity, elbowed aside three-time box office champion "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" to win the race at U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend.
"The Other Woman" had ticket sales of $24.7 million (14.71 million pounds), while "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" took in $16 million, bringing its total domestic sales since its April 4 release to $225 million. .
The PG-rated faith-based drama "Heaven Is for Real" came in third with $13.8 million for the period of Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from box office tracking firm Rentrak.
"The Other Woman", starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton as women dating the same married man, overcame largely negative reviews to far surpass industry expectations of an opening weekend in the region of $17 million.
The $40 million film also stars Leslie Mann as the wife who teams up with the two women to get revenge on her cheating husband, played by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the popular HBO series "Game of Thrones".
"We significantly overperformed," said Spencer Klein, senior vice president general sales manager for 20th Century Fox, the unit of Twenty-First Century Fox that released the film.
"'The Other Woman' once again proves the power of female comedies," Klein said, adding that timing also contributed to its success.
"It's been a while for a female-driven comedy like this," he said, noting the movie had become something of a "girls' night out" experience and had played well in all areas of the country.
"Heaven Is for Real", the story of a young boy who claims to have visited heaven during a near-death experience, continued to build strength among moviegoers who this year have flocked to see faith-based films.
Starring Greg Kinnear, "Heaven Is for Real" has totaled $51.9 million in ticket sales since its April 16 release.
The movie is the fourth faith-based film this year to generate impressive box office returns, including for "Noah," which stars Russell Crowe as the biblical figure and is approaching $100 million.
The animated film "Rio 2", also from Fox and featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway as blue Spix macaw birds, was fourth with ticket sales of $13.7 million. It follows recent hit animated films like "Frozen" and "The Lego Movie" which have drawn both kids and their parents to movie theaters.
"Brick Mansions," an action film starring the late Paul Walker, rounded out the top five with ticket sales of $9.6 million.
The 40-year-old Walker, a star of the "Fast and Furious" car racing movie series, was killed on Nov. 30 in a fiery single-car accident while driving with a friend after leaving a charity event in Valencia, California.
"Brick Mansions" marked the directorial debut of Camille Delamarre and was written by French filmmaker Luc Besson, who based it on his 2004 film, "Banlieue 13."
Walt Disney Co distributed "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". "Heaven is for Real" was distributed by Sony's TriStar studio. "Brick Mansions" was released by Relativity Media.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud, editing by Gareth Jones)