LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Universal's World War I epic "1917" sprinted to the top of North American box office as it expanded nationwide this weekend following two weeks in limited release, dethroning the epic space-opera film "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with 36.5 million U.S. dollars.
The film has grossed 39.2 million dollars in North America for a global total of 60.4 million dollars through Sunday, according to studio figures collected by the measurement firm Comscore.
Directed and co-written by Sam Mendes, the Oscar-winning director of "American Beauty" and James Bond films "Skyfall," the stunning and breathtaking film chronicles the story of two young British soldiers during World War I who are given a seemingly impossible mission, racing against time to cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on 1,600 soldiers. The film is reportedly inspired by the war stories of Mendes' grandfather, who enlisted as a 17-year-old and fought in World War I.
The box office success of "1917" was fueled by the film's Golden Globes victory last Sunday, nabbing the awards for best drama and best director surprisingly.
The film received a positive "A-" rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore and holds an approval rating of 90 percent on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes to date.