Jason Bourne is back — and moviegoers are eager to see him again.
With estimated Friday ticket sales of $22.7 million, according to Box Office Mojo, "Jason Bourne" started the weekend in the No. 1 position, putting the Universal Pictures' title on track to make around $60 million through Sunday. That would be in keeping with analysts' pre-release estimates, and a slight improvement on the previous box-office champ, "Star Trek Beyond," which made $59 million last weekend.
"Jason Bourne" is the first installment since 2012 in the long-running action franchise based on Robert Ludlum's popular books. But where 2012's "The Bourne Legacy" starred Jeremy Renner and was directed by Tony Gilroy, the new film reunites actor Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, who made 2004's "The Bourne Supremacy" and 2007's "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Despite (or perhaps because of) the earlier movies' success, Greengrass was unsure about returning to the amnesic super-assassin's world of international intrigue.
"I was skeptical there was one to be done, I was skeptical I wanted to do it and I was skeptical it would hold up with the others," the director recently told The Times.
Yet Damon convinced him that they were "lucky to have an audience that loves this character," Greengrass said. "I thought, 'Maybe I've been too negative to an old friend.' "
Behind "Jason Bourne," STX Entertainment's "Bad Moms" entered the weekend at No. 2. The comedy with Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell earned $9.6 million Friday, Box Office Mojo estimated, ahead of expectations that it would make $20 million over the weekend.
"Star Trek Beyond" finished Friday at No. 3 on ticket sales of around $6.75 million, followed by "The Secret Life of Pets" at No. 4 (with $5.53 million) and "Lights Out" at No. 5 (with $3.54 million).