Sep 25, 2017 Last Updated 8:47 AM, Sep 25, 2017
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The espionage comedy "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" dominated North American box offices in its debut weekend, industry figures showed Sunday.

It ousted "It", a freaky horror hit which had held the crown for two weeks.

With a star-studded cast featuring Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and even Elton John, "Kingsman" raked in an estimated $39 million(R517.24 million) for the weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The sequel to "Kingsman: The Secret Service", "The Golden Circle" sees British spy organization Kingsman join forces with American counterpart Statesman to take on a new global threat.

"It", based on a Stephen King novel and starring Bill Skarsgard as a creepy clown who menaces a sleepy Maine town, earned an estimated $30 million -- half its take last weekend.

But having stormed the box office in its opening weekend with revenue of $123 million, "It" still boasts impressive earnings of $266.3 million in only three weeks.

In at third was new animation "The Lego Ninjago Movie", the third instalment of Warner Bros.' "The Lego Movie" franchise, which made $21.2 million.

Trailing far behind in fourth was "American Assassin", starring Dylan O'Brien as a CIA "black ops" recruit who teams up with crusty veteran agent Michael Keaton to fight terrorists. The film took in just $6.2 million, bringing its total earnings to $21.6 million in two weeks.

Now in its third week, Open Road Films' "Home Again" dropped one place to fifth with a take of $3.3 million. With earnings totaling $22.3 million, the romantic comedy stars Reese Witherspoon as a newly single woman whose life changes when three young men move into her house.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Mother!" ($3.2 million)

"Friend Request" ($2.4 million)

"The Hitman's Bodyguard" ($1.8 million)

"Stronger" ($1.7 million)

"Wind River" ($1.2 million).

For the third consecutive weekend "The Hitman’s Bodyguard" was the top film in North American box offices, but the cinematic scene remained deep in the summer doldrums, website Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The US Labor Day weekend was shaping up to be the worst in 17 years, industry watchers said, noting the lack of any major new releases. But Lionsgate's "Hitman" managed to take in an estimated $10.3 million(R133.33 million) for the Friday-to-Sunday period, the only movie this summer to cling to the top for three straight weeks. 

The action comedy, starring Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard protecting a notorious hitman (Samuel L. Jackson), outperformed Warner Bros.'s horror film "Annabelle: Creation" for the second straight week.

"Annabelle," part of the popular "Conjuring" franchise of movies, took in $7.3 million, giving it a shot at passing the $100 million mark domestically, website boxofficemojo said.

Crime thriller "Wind River" from Weinstein Co. came in third, taking in an estimated $5.9 million, up from the previous week's $4.4 million. It stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as federal agents trying to solve a murder on an Indian reservation.

In fourth, also from the Weinstein brothers, was the animated family picture "Leap!" about a young orphan, voiced by Elle Fanning, who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer in 19th century Paris. It netted $4.9 million.

Staying steady at fifth was Steven Soderbergh's droll action film "Logan Lucky," which for the second straight week netted $4.4 million. It stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough in an unconventional heist comedy set at a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Dunkirk" ($4.1 million)

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" ($3.7 million)

"The Emoji Movie" ($2.5 million)

"Despicable Me 3" ($2.4 million)

"Girls Trip" ($2.3 million)

Jennifer Lawrence has said the leaking of nude photos of her left her feeling "blindsided".

Intimate images of the Oscar-winning actress were published online in 2014. 

She told Vogue: "I think people saw [the hacking] for what it was, which was a sex crime, but that feeling, I haven't been able to get rid of it.

"Having your privacy violated constantly isn't a problem if you're perfect. But if you're human, it's terrifying."

She added: "When my publicist calls me, I'm like, 'Oh, my God, what is it?' Even when it's nothing. I'm always waiting to get blindsided again.

"It's scary when you feel the whole world judges you."

The actress is the cover star for US Vogue's prestigious September issue, for which she has been photographed by Annie Leibovitz and Inez & Vinoodh.

Vogue also commissioned artist John Currin to paint her for one of the four covers as part of the celebrations for the magazine's 125th anniversary issue.

Lawrence also spoke about her relationship with director Darren Aronofsky, who she's been dating for the past year.

The pair met while filming her new movie Mother!, which Aronofsky directs, and became an item shortly after.

"When I saw the movie, I was reminded all over again how brilliant he is," Lawrence said of the 48-year-old.

"For the past year, I've been dealing with him as just a human.

"I normally don't like Harvard people, because they can't go two minutes without mentioning that they went to Harvard. He's not like that."

The actress also explained that filming Mother! - a horror drama, about which very few details have been revealed - got so intense that she hyperventilated and dislocated a rib.

"I ended up getting on oxygen," she said. "I have oxygen tubes in my nostrils, and Darren's like, 'It was out of focus; we've got to do it again.'"

Lawrence's response to this idea was sadly unprintable, but it's safe to say she wasn't keen on the idea of a reshoot.

US television network Fox on Tuesday gave the first official story details for its "X-Men" spin-off -- confirming there will be no X-Men in the show.

"The Gifted" -- Fox's first collaboration with Marvel -- stars Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker as the fugitive parents of mutant children on the run from shady government agents.

Speculation had swirled on social media that Professor X and company would play no part as "The Gifted" joined up with another underground network of mutants.

"That's not a dodge. That's not like 'The X-Men are gone and we're never going to deal with it,'" showrunner Matt Nix told journalists at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles. 

"It's a thing in the show and we're going to be exploring it, and it's a huge deal to these guys, it's a huge deal in the world. It's one of the central mysteries of the show.”

The 10-episode show is not based on any individual Marvel Comics storyline, but it will share some characters with the "X-Men" movie franchise.

Polaris, Blink and other favourites are expected to appear, although their powers may not be as fully developed as in the comics, Nix said. 

"She's not comfortable with her powers... She struggles with it," said Jamie Chung, who plays Blink.

Moyer said Marvel had made all of its comics available to the cast for research, "so we could all go down the rabbit hole or not. It's up to the individual actor."

Marvel's work with Disney has since eclipsed the "X-Men" movies but the original film in 2000 is credited with sparking the re-emergence of superhero movies.

Ten "X-Men" movies have so far clocked up $5 billion in worldwide box office receipts.

The instalments have ranged wildly in quality, with "Days of Future Past" receiving almost universally glowing reviews while "Origins" was hammered by the critics.  

After starring in eight of the films over 17 years, Hugh Jackman returned in March for his final hurrah as Wolverine in "Logan," an edgier, darker take on the "X-Men" world.

The producers of "The Gifted" were asked if their show would reference the larger universe, in the way that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." connects to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"If you're trying to make it a direct connection between the 'X-Men' films and the television series, the better way of looking at it is (this)," said Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb.

"If you're an 'X-Men' fan and you go to the comic book store every Wednesday, you know that there are other books that live within this world."

Fox said Tuesday "Twin Peaks" and "24: Legacy" actress Elena Satine would join the series as Dreamer, a mutant who can remove or implant people's memories.

"One of the things about her character is that's a really sexy power that isn’t a gigantic power," Nix said. 

"We aren't blowing up a building with her... it doesn’t involve a six-week CG build."

"The Gifted" premieres on Fox on October 2.

Sony's sci-fi production "The Dark Tower" led ticket sales in North American theatres this weekend, but its estimated three-day take of a modest $19.5-million fell on a notably sluggish August weekend.

"Tower," co-produced by independent film studio MRC, had the lowest box-office-leading weekend take of the year, HollywoodReporter.com noted.

The film, based on a series of best-selling novels by horror and fantasy master Stephen King, stars Tom Taylor as a boy who finds himself in another dimension where a gunslinger (Idris Elba) helps him try to save the world from enemies including a Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The film garners a paltry 18 percent approval on the Rotten Tomatoes review site.

Second in the box-office race was war movie "Dunkirk," slipping from the No. 1 spot it occupied at its opening a week earlier. The Warner Bros. film had a three-day take of $17.6-million, according to industry website Exhibitor Relations.

Starring One Direction singer Harry Styles in the retelling of the heroic 1940 evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from a beach in northern France, "Dunkirk" has been hailed by many critics as a masterpiece.

In third spot was Sony's "The Emoji Movie," a computer-animated comedy based on -- yes -- those expressive little symbols on cell phones. With an all-star voicing cast including James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Christina Aguilera and Sofia Vergara, the movie netted $12.4-million -- not so bad for a film that scores a dismal 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fourth place went to "Girls Trip" from Universal, at $11.4-million. The raunchy comedy, about the misadventures of a group of lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for a music festival, stars Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith.

In fifth was Aviron's thriller "Kidnap," at $10.2-million. Halle Berry plays a mother who will do anything to get her kidnapped son back.

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