LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, March 23 Futuristic thriller "Divergent", the story of a society that divides people based on personality traits, dominated weekend movie charts with $56 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, according to estimates released on Sunday.
Walt Disney Co family comedy "Muppets Most Wanted" finished in second place, nabbing $16.5 million from Friday through Sunday, research firm Rentrak said.
Animated "Mr. Peabody & Sherman", produced by Dreamworks Animation Inc, took the No. 3 slot with $11.7 million.
"Divergent" was adapted from a series of best-selling books by newcomer author Veronica Roth.
Shailene Woodley stars as young heroine Tris Prior, a teenager who is a threat to the government because she doesn't fit into one of its factions. British actor Theo James plays Four, Tris' mentor and love interest.
The movie is the start of a new franchise for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, the studio behind the blockbuster "Hunger Games" movies, which are also based on popular books about a teen heroine in a dystopian world.
The company announced on Friday it would move ahead with production on a second film in the "Divergent" series, called "Insurgent", due to reach theaters in March 2015. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; Editing by Sophie Hares)