Colin Firth stars in Twentieth Century Fox's "Kingsman: The Golden Circle."

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’ 

Critics the world over, including Australia, did not much like Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, objecting to the cartoonish violence and juvenile jokes, but what do they know?

Moviegoers flocked to the action/adventure/comedy starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Mark Strong, which easily won the weekend BO in Oz, the US and 54 other markets.

Meanwhile the third film of the LEGO franchise had the weakest opening of the series, thrashed by the second weekend of Sony’s The Emoji Movie and also trailing Fox’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

The top 20 titles rang up $15.3 million, a healthy 10 per cent improvement on the previous weekend.

Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle captured $5.7 million at 282 cinemas, a big jump from the original movie’s $4.1 million debut in 2015. Pro-rata, the Australian opening was much better than the estimated $US39 million three-day haul in the US. Kingsman: The Secret Service wound up grossing $18.5 million in Oz so the sequel could well outpace that.

The Warner Bros/New Line blockbuster It ranked second, scaring up $2.4 million in its third frame at 283 locations, down 52 per cent. Transcending the usual barriers for the genre, the horror/thriller directed by Andy Muschietti has amassed $18.6 million in Australia and a record $478 million worldwide.

Clearly first-choice for kids who are now on vacation, director Tony Leondis’  animated sci-fi-comedy The Emoji Movie collared $1.5 million at 289, off 25 per cent, propelling its total to $4.6 million.

Buoyed by word-of-mouth, Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul collected $1.3 million in its second weekend at 268, easing by 31 per cent. The comedy/drama based on the true story of the relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant/teacher starring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal has pocketed a nifty $4.1 million for Universal.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, David Soren’s CGI adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s children’s books, voiced by Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms and Jordan Peele, drew $951,000 at 273. Including previews and Queensland’s contributions, the DreamWorks Animation title has roped in $2.5 million.

Warner Animation Group’s The LEGO Ninjago Movie mustered a disappointing $917,000 at 300 in Oz and an estimated $20.8 million in the US, where pre-release tracking had suggested over $35 million was feasible.

Co-directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, the martial arts action/comedy skewed young in the US, where nearly half the audience was under 18, compared to 41 per cent for The LEGO Movie and 38 per cent for The LEGO Batman Movie.

Released in 2014, the first LEGO movie rang up $69 million in its first weekend in the US and finished up with $469.1 million globally and the follow-up scored $53 million and $312 million worldwide earlier this year. So the latest edition will fall well short of those lofty heights.

Lionsgate and CBS Films’ prospects of turning American Assassin into a big action franchise don’t look bright. The CIA thriller directed by Michael Cuesta, based on Vince Flynn’s pulp novels starring Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien, Sanaa Lathan and Taylor Kitsch, plunged by 58 per cent to $512,000 in its second outing on 205. The Roadshow release has pocketed a modest $2.2 million. In the US the film has taken an estimated $26.2 million in 10 days, not a great return on a $33 million production budget.

After a lousy debut which clearly polarised audiences, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! collapsed in its second weekend, making  $283,000 at 208, tumbling by 59 per cent. The horror/thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, Xavier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer is a disaster for Paramount, earning $1.2 million.

Universal’s racy comedy Girls Trip directed by Malcolm D. Lee reached a respectable $4.2 million after banking $256,000 in its fourth lap at 120, off 54 per cent.

Punjabi romantic drama Nikka Zaildar 2, a sequel to the 2016 hit directed by Simerjit Singh, fetched a terrific $213,000 at just 25 screens, a location average of more than $8,500, for Forum Films.

Fairfax Media’s Jake Wilson judged Beatriz at Dinner, Miguel Arteta’s satire of white privilege, as a boutique item for a select arthouse public. That’s arguable as the Roadshow release starring Salma Hayek, John Lithgow and Connie Britton took $27,000 at six screens.