Revamped "Bourne" captures movie box office crown

Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:34pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Action movie "The Bourne Legacy," with new star Jeremy Renner, raced to the No. 1 spot on U.S. and Canadian box office charts with an estimated $40.3 million in ticket sales over the weekend.

New adult comedy "The Campaign" debuted in second place, winning $27.4 million at domestic theaters. The two new movies knocked three-time box office champion "The Dark Knight Rises" to third place.

"Bourne Legacy" is the fourth movie in the spy franchise that previously starred Matt Damon and has grossed nearly $1 billion around the world. Damon played a CIA assassin with memory loss who tried to discover his true identity while evading the CIA's attempts to kill him.

Universal cast Renner in the new movie in an effort to reboot the series for future sequels. Renner plays agent Aaron Cross, who tries to escape his CIA pursuers with the help of genetic scientist Marta Shearing, played by Rachel Weisz.

Universal and privately held Relativity Media produced "Bourne Legacy" for about $125 million. Opening weekend sales beat Universal's projections for a $35 million debut.

Nikki Rocco, Universal Pictures' president of domestic distribution, said the film performed as expected, and that the studio was happy with its opening weekend.

"It's a validation, it's a successful rebooting of the franchise," she said, adding that it gives Universal an opportunity to continue the Bourne saga.

"The Bourne Legacy" nabbed $48.1 million worldwide over the weekend, bringing its global total to $88.4 million.   Continued...

Cast members Rachel Weisz (L) and Jeremy Renner attend the premiere of the film "The Bourne Legacy" in New York July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer