NEW YORK — Ridley Scott's 3-D space epic "The Martian" touched down in theatres with a robust $55 million at the weekend box office.
The 20th Century Fox release, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut left for dead on Mars, proved moviegoers remain drawn by the gravitational pull of space adventures. The estimated North American opening of "The Martian" surpassed that of Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" and virtually equaled the debut of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."
Last week's box-office champ, "Hotel Transylvania 2," slid to second with an estimated $33 million.
Denis Villeneuve's drug war thriller "Sicario," starring Emily Blunt, shot up to third with $12.1 million for the acclaimed Lionsgate release.
Ahead of a wider opening next week, Robert Zemeckis' 3-D "The Walk" opened on 448 Imax screens but took in only $1.5 million.
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press