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Moviegoers had no trouble remembering “Jason Bourne” this weekend, powering the bone-rattling action franchise’s fifth entry to an estimated $60-million opening to lead the North American box office.The Universal film’s three-day total...

'Jason Bourne' dominates the weekend box office

Moviegoers had no trouble remembering “Jason Bourne” this weekend, powering the bone-rattling action franchise’s fifth entry to an estimated $60-million opening to lead the North American box office.The Universal film’s three-day total...

'Jason Bourne' dominates the weekend box office

Moviegoers had no trouble remembering “Jason Bourne” this weekend, powering the bone-rattling action franchise’s fifth entry to an estimated $60-million opening to lead the North American box office.

The Universal film’s three-day total was the second-best debut for a “Bourne” feature, trailing the $69.2-million opening of 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

“Jason Bourne,” which returned Matt Damon to the title role after he sat out "The Bourne Legacy" in 2012, found more favor with audiences than critics. Moviegoers gave the film an A- grade, according to the market research firm Cinemascore, but it scored a so-so 58 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. Exit polls showed the audience split 55% to 45% male-female, with 60% 35 and older.

Skewing older might help "Bourne” weather a second weekend in which it will be up against the DC Comics superhero movie “Suicide Squad.”

The spy thriller also opened in 46 international markets, grossing an estimated $50.1 million this weekend, making it the No. 1 film at the international box office as well.

Is it possible to make a mass audience summer movie that’s as smart as it is entertaining, as relevant and contemporary as it is escapist? The answer is yes, especially if the name Bourne is involved.

"Jason Bourne" is the fourth film to feature Matt Damon as that unstoppable secret agent, the...

Is it possible to make a mass audience summer movie that’s as smart as it is entertaining, as relevant and contemporary as it is escapist? The answer is yes, especially if the name Bourne is involved.

"Jason Bourne" is the fourth film to feature Matt Damon as that unstoppable secret agent, the...

“We couldn’t be happier with the opening,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s distribution president. “The anticipation of seeing Matt Damon working again with [director] Paul Greengrass, the compelling collaboration that made the ‘Bourne’ franchise, proved satisfying to people.”

The weekend’s other high-profile debut, STX Entertainment’s R-rated comedy “Bad Moms,” came in third, with an estimated three-day total of $23.4 million. 

Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the team behind the first “Hangover” movie, the raunchy comedy found favor with some critics, winning praise for its funny, empathetic take on the “smother mother” archetype. Its predominately female audience — 82% of the opening weekend audience was women — agreed. “Bad Moms” earned an A grade from Cinemascore respondents, becoming the first R-rated comedy to score an A since “The Hangover.”

“That’s one of the reasons we think it has a real chance to play through the end of the summer,” said STX’s distribution president, Kevin Grayson, citing the audience satisfaction. "R-rated comedies usually get B grades, sometimes Cs. There’s nothing like this movie this summer.”

The film’s success provides another example of the clout of the underserved female audience, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.

“It was a movie that resonated with women and didn’t speak down to them," he said.

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

The new films will hope for better holds than last weekend’s No. 1 movie, “Star Trek Beyond,” which took in an estimated $24.2 million during its second weekend, a 59% drop. The latest entry in the venerable sci-fi series has grossed an estimated $105.9 million since opening.

“There's overlap with its older audience and the people who went to see ‘Bourne,’” Dergarabedian said. "That definitely dinged it.”

“Nerve,” a teen-targeted, social-media thriller about a student who gets drawn into an online reality dare game, opened Wednesday. Doing well with young women moviegoers, the movie has grossed $14.9 million in its first five days. Audiences liked it too, giving it an A- on Cinemascore.

Rounding out the top five for the weekend: The animated hit “The Secret Life of Pets” came in fourth behind “Bad Moms,” taking in $18.2 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $296 million. The psychological thriller “Lights Out” finished fifth with a second weekend take of $10.7 million, putting its cumulative total to $42.8 million.

glenn.whipp@latimes.com

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