Halle Berry returns in the futuristic fantasy X-Men 2
Mutant sci-fi sequel X-Men 2 earned more than $155m (£96m) world-wide in its opening weekend, the biggest launch in movie history.
The weekend figures are more than half of the total that the first film made around the world overall.
It leapt straight to the top of the North American box office charts, taking about $85.8m (£53.5m), the fourth highest opening on record.
The sequel opened in 93 countries simultaneously, and on more than 8,000 screens in the US alone.
In second place in the US was the opening of The Lizzie Maguire Movie, adapted from a US TV programme, which took about $17m (£10.6m).
Last week's leader, the thriller Identity, slipped to third place with ticket sales of about $9.5m (£5.9m), followed by the Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson comedy Anger Management, which took $8.5m (£5.3m) and Holes, which earned $6.5m
British comedy Bend it Like Beckham entered the top 10 for the first time, in its eighth week of release, taking the ninth spot.
X-Men 2, which cost about $110m (£68.6m) to make, stars an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Sir Ian McKellen.