LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Star Trek Beyond" has landed atop the weekend box office.
Paramount's latest outing with the Starship Enterprise soared to $59.6 million in domestic ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, knocking Universal's "The Secret Life of Pets" from the No. 1 spot.
"Pets" fell to second place, adding an additional $29.3 million to its stellar $260 million earnings over the past three weeks.
"Star Trek Beyond" is the third film in the rebooted franchise that kicked off with J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek." This latest film opened $20 million behind that 2009 release, but experts say the returns are still promising for Paramount.
"This is a solid enough debut to tell them there's still enough interest in 'Star Trek' to keep this franchise alive," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker comScore.
"Star Trek Beyond" opened in line with industry expectations, he said, despite the unexpected death last month of 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov.
"The tragic passing of Anton Yelchin made it bittersweet for fans," Dergarabedian said. "I don't think that took away anything from the film. Fans can pay their respects to Yelchin by watching him on the screen."
"The Secret Life of Pets" and "Ghostbusters" bested — or tied — the weekend's other new releases.
Warner Bros.' low-budget horror "Lights Out" opened with $21.6 million — more than quadrupling its reported $5 million budget — to tie with "Ghostbusters" for third place.
Fox's animated "Ice Age: Collision Course" debuted with $21 million. Fox Searchlight's "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" opened outside the top 10 with $1.8 million.
The documentary "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party," from conservative political pundit Dinesh D'Souza, edged into the top 10 in its second week with $3.7 million.
"That's pretty amazing," Dergarabedian said. "But it's obviously due to the timing with the Republican National Convention last week and the Democratic National Convention this week."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Star Trek Beyond," $59.6 million ($30 million international).
2. "The Secret Life of Pets," $29.3 million ($10 million international).
3. (tie) "Lights Out," $21.6 million ($8.3 million international).
3. (tie) "Ghostbusters," $21.6 million ($10.5 million international).
4. "Ice Age: Collision Course," $21 million ($30 million international).
5. "Finding Dory," $7.2 million ($19.5 international).
6. "The Legend of Tarzan," $6.4 million ($44.7 million international).
7. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," $4.4 million ($1 million international).
8. "Kabali (Tamil & Telugu)," $4.1 million.
9. "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party," $3.7 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:
1. "The Legend of Tarzan," $44.7 million.
2. "Skiptrace," $40 million.
3. (tie) "Star Trek Beyond," $30 million.
3. (tie) "Ice Age: Collision Course," $30 million.
1. "Train to Busan," $27.5 million.
2. "Finding Dory," $19.5 million.
3. "Independence Day: Resurgence," $12.2 million.
4. "Now You See Me 2," $11.5 million.
5. "The BFG," $11 million.
6. "Ghostbusters," $10.5 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.