LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Ender's Game," the futuristic tale of children recruited to wage war against an enemy race, won the weekend box office battle in the United States and Canada, defeating senior citizen buddy comedy "Last Vegas" and animated turkey tale "Free Birds."
Based on a 1985 novel, "Ender's Game" collected $28 million (17.5 million pounds) in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Hollywood.com. The movie stars Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin, a young boy who is singled out from childhood for his superior intellect and put through advanced warfare training.
Last weekend's winner, raunchy comedy "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," dropped to second place with $20.5 million.
New comedy "Last Vegas," about four senior male friends who reunite for a bachelor party, finished in third place with $16.5 million. Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline star in the film.
"Free Birds" settled for a fourth-place debut with $16.2 million. The 3D movie features the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson as turkeys who team up and travel back in time to get turkey off of Thanksgiving dinner plates.
"Ender's Game" was released by Summit Entertainment, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment. "Bad Grandpa" was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. "Free Birds" was distributed by privately held Relativity Media. CBS Films, a unit of CBS Corp, released "Last Vegas."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; editing by Christopher Wilson)