March 1 (Reuters) - Will Smith's new action drama "Focus" booted the kinky sex tale "Fifty Shades of Grey" for its perch atop U.S. and Canadian weekend box office charts, racking up $19.1 million in ticket sales.
Smith, in his first leading role since 2013's "After Earth," plays a seasoned con artist who meets up with an aspiring con artist, played by Margot Robbie, in the romance-caper film hybrid.
"Kingsman: The Secret Service", an adaptation of a popular comic series which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Firth about a spy agency's training program and a global threat by a tech genius, also outpaced "Grey" to claim second place with $11.8 million.
Third place on a weekend that saw business hampered by rough winter weather in the south and midwest again went to the family-friendly "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water", based on the popular television show about a talking animated sponge. It sold $11.2 million in tickets.
"Grey," the smash hit adaptation of the best-selling novel which stars James Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the libidinous couple, took in $10.9 million, landing in fourth from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. The film is closing in on $148 million at the domestic box office since opening just over two weeks ago.
Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures released "Fifty Shades of Grey". "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was released by 20th Century Fox, the unit of 21st Century Fox. "The SpongeBob Movie" was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. "Focus" was released by Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner Inc.
Reporting by Chris Michaud