Bourne Legacy overtakes Dark Knight at US box office

Rachel Weisz Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner, is joined by scientist Marta Shearling, played by Rachel Weisz

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Action film The Bourne Legacy has topped the North American box office chart, knocking The Dark Knight Rises off the number one spot.

The latest instalment in the Bourne series took $40.3m (£25.7m) in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates.

Jeremy Renner plays special agent Aaron Cross in the first Bourne movie without Matt Damon.

But the film took less than the $69.3m debut for Damon's final Bourne outing.

The Bourne Ultimatum was released in 2007.

Political comedy The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as rivals in a US congress election, made its debut at number two with takings of $27.4m (£17.4m) between Friday and Sunday.

Batman film The Dark Knight dropped to third place and Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones' marital comedy Hope Springs opened at number four with $15.6m (£10m).

The Bourne Legacy, which also stars Rachel Weisz, is the fourth film in the franchise.

Renner plays an agent pursued by Jason Bourne's old spymasters after they try to stop an espionage programme in a cover-up conspiracy.

"I love the fact that we were able to re-boot this and do as well as we were able to," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution. "It leaves it open for us to think about it going forward.

"We are very much into what it's going to look like the next time."

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