Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 11:28 UK

Angels blessed at US box office

Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer in Angels and Demons
The film sees Hanks (left) return to role of academic Robert Langdon

Da Vinci Code sequel Angels and Demons has soared to the top of the US and Canada box office chart, taking $48m (£31.4m) in its first weekend.

Its takings between Friday and Sunday put Ron Howard's thriller well ahead of Star Trek, last week's number one film.

However, its haul was dwarfed by the $77.1m (£50.6m) The Da Vinci Code made in its first weekend when it opened in North American cinemas in May 2006.

Overall Angels made $152m (£99.6m) in global ticket sales over the weekend.

Based on the novel by Dan Brown, the Tom Hanks movie sees his Harvard academic on the trail of a deadly conspiracy.

While the film again features murky dealings within the Catholic Church, however, its release has largely been free of the controversy that surrounded its predecessor.

US AND CANADA BOX OFFICE
1. Angels and Demons - $48m
2. Star Trek - $43m
3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine - $14.8m
4. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - $6.9m
5. Obsessed - $4.6m
Source: Media by Numbers

Star Trek's second weekend saw JJ Abrams' prequel to the original TV series take $43m (£28m) in the US and Canada.

That put it ahead of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, whose third weekend takings of $14.8m (£9.7m) saw it fall one place to three.

On the whole it was another robust weekend at North American cinemas - a fact welcomed by Paul Dergarabedian of box office tracker Media by Numbers.

"We're headed toward a record-breaking summer," he said. "If you've got a blockbuster in the pipeline, you're very happy."

This week sees another sequel, Ben Stiller comedy Night at the Museum 2, make its debut on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the US and Canada, however, it will face stiff competition from Terminator Salvation, the latest instalment in the futuristic franchise.



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SEE ALSO
Star Trek beams to top of chart
11 May 09 |  Entertainment
Demons 'harmless', says Vatican
07 May 09 |  Entertainment
Press views: Angels and Demons
06 May 09 |  Entertainment

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