Deadpool on top, Stephen Chow’s hit Chinese comedy The Mermaid opens strong

Stephen Chow's The Mermaid.

Deadpool continues to trounce the competition, ringing up $7.8 million over the weekend to bring its cumulative total to just over $27 million. 

By comparison, the weekend's runner-up – Warner Bros' comedy How To Be Single, starring Rebel Wilson – brought in $2.7 million, opening on 229 screens in its first week.

Also debuting was Ride Along 2, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, pulling in $1.2 million on 194 screens.

Next best was the much-derided Zoolander 2, which dropped fifty-eight percent in its second week to ring up over $1.1 million over the weekend, bringing its cume close to $5.7 million.

Transmission's Brooklyn dropped only twenty percent in week two, tallying up $836,966 over the weekend, and now sitting at near $2.8 million overall.

The highest-debuting film after How to Be Single and Ride Along 2 was another comedy, The Mermaid, a Chinese film directed by Kung Fu Hustle's Stephen Chow about a businessman who falls in love with the mermaid sent to kill him. 

Described by Variety's Maggie Lee as "pure enchantment", the Sony Pictures Asia film debuted at eighteen locations, where it pulled in a combined total of $506,203 – $28,122 per screen.

It beat the hot-button Spotlight, on 158 screens and in the thick of Oscar contention.

The Boston-set drama dropped thirty-two percent in its fourth week to take $328,909 over the weekend, bringing its cume to over $3.3 million.

The New Zealand-Samoan comedy Three Wise Cousins debuted strongly, making $293,231 on 17 screens over the weekend. The film follows Adam, who returns to Samoa to beef up his Pacific Islander bonafides and impress a girl who says she only likes 'real' Islander men. 

The fish-out-of-water story narrowly beat holdover The Revenant, which cleared $284,086 over the weekend. The Oscar favourite is still on 154 screens in its seventh week, for total takings of $18,850,641 at the Australian BO.

The Oscar favourite was too strong for Concussion, the NFL drama opening on 128 screens, which rang up $293,049. The days when Will Smith was considered the last BO guarantee seem a long, long time ago.

Madman's 45 Years, starring Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling, debuted at forty-three locations. The rapturously-reviewed drama pulled in $245,249 ($5,031 per location). 

Sony's Calvary retelling Risen, starring Joseph Fiennes and directed by Waterworld's Kevin Reynolds, opened on forty-five screens and rang up $132,557.

Of Australian releases, Looking for Grace dropped forty-percent to pull in $26,620 over the weekend. 

Sue Brooks' film, now in its fourth week, is still playing at thirty-three locations, and has tallied $508,440 overall.

The Dressmaker is still on twenty-one screens, and took $11,748 over the weekend for a cumulative total of $20,170,089.