JACK The Giant Slayer 2013’s first big-budget action movie, has topped the North American film box office with $28m in its opening weekend. Its takings were “underwhelming” given it cost $189m, said Phil Contrino, analyst for Boxoffice.com.

Bryan Singer’s film retells the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale and stars Ewan McGregor and Nicholas Hoult. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey also reached the billion-dollar mark at the weekend - only the 15th film to do so. Singer’s 3D movie, which features elaborate computer-generated effects, took an extra $13.7m from 1,824 screens in 10 Asian markets, but it has still fared badly compared with major box office hits - the biggest opening weekend in the US was The Avengers last May with $200m.

Mr Contrino added: “I wouldn’t rush to call the film a financial flop just yet because overseas growth can really save a movie. I feel that this is a movie that could do really well in other territories and make up for the fact that the North American haul was a little bit underwhelming.”

Last week’s number one, the comedy Identity Thief, took second place with $9.7m while adult comedy 21 and Over, written by the screenwriters of The Hangover, was next with $9m Ticket sales were from Friday to Sunday and are based on studio estimates.

The low-budget horror sequel The Last Exorcism Part II was at number four with $8m while crime drama Snitch was next with $7.7m. New release Phantom failed to make the top 10. It stars Ed Harris and David Duchovny in the story of a Soviet submarine captain leading a secret mission.

Jack the Giant Slayer has had mixed reviews so far, with recommendations from 52% of reviewers on aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. It said: “It’s enthusiastically acted and reasonably fun, but Jack the Giant Slayer is also overwhelmed by digital effects and a bland, impersonal story.” –BBC

Top Five Movies

1.     Jack the Giant Slayer - $18.6m

2.     Identity Thief - $9.7m

3.     21 and Over - $9m

4.     The Last Exorcism Part II - $8m

5.     Snitch - $7.7m