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Ender's Game tops US box office with $28 million

Ender's Game

Story by Jack Foley

GAVIN Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game has topped the US box office with a healthy $28 million.

The film had been hit by the controversy surrounding Car’s anti-gay comments, with some groups calling for movie fans to boycott it. But Hood and his cast have been at pains to point out that they do not share the author’s views and the film remains a separate entity.

Set in the near future, the story revolves around a young boy (played by Britain’s Asa Butterfield) who is recruited by the military to stop an alien race from destroying the world. It co-stars Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin.

The debut is seen as something of a triumph even though it will still need to go some way to recouping its $120 million budget – one of the largest ever for an independently financed blockbuster.

To make the going even more tough, it will almost certainly lose a lot of its audience to Thor: The Dark World next weekend.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa enjoyed a strong second weekend with $20.5 million (it has now taken $62.1 million in the US), while sexagenarian comedy Last Vegas – starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as four friends in their 60s who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party – came third with a better-than-expected $16.5 million.

The only film to perform less business than expected was animated comedy Free Birds, which hit $16.2 million to place fourth. The voice cast is led by Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, while the story follows a pair of turkeys who travel back in time to prevent their kind from becoming the traditional holiday meal.

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