Los Angeles: Sony's "Goosebumps" beat "The Martian" to win the box office race this week, taking in $23.5 million in its opening weekend from across 3,501 theatres in North America.
"Goosebumps" stars Jack Black as the famous writer R.L. Stine whose literary characters -- a collection of ghouls and ghosts -- escape from his books and wreak havoc on the world.
Audiences, 59 percent of whom were under the age of 25, gave the 3D horror-comedy directed by Rob Letterman a promising "A" on Cinemascore, Xinhua reported on Sunday.
Ridley Scott's blockbuster "The Martian" remained a potent player in its third weekend, finished in second place. It grossed $21.5 million in estimated ticket sales from 3,701 locations to its $143.8 million domestic haul, according to Rentrak.
Globally, the space epic gathered over $300 million after weekend earnings of $37 million from 74 markets. To date, its biggest offshore markets are Britain, $27 million, and South Korea, $21.6 million.
In a crowded week at the multiplexes, "Goosebumps" also won over other new releases, including Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama "Bridge of Spies" and Guillermo del Toro's troubled gothic romance "Crimson Peak".
The thriller "Bridge of Spies" debuted in third place with $15.4 million estimated sales at US and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak.
The $40 million film starring Tom Hanks also received a strong "A" rating from first-night moviegoers on Cinemascore.
The R-rated gothic romance "Crimson Peak," starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, opened in fourth place with $12.8 million, according to Rentrak.