LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Dumb and Dumber To", the sequel to the 1994 comedy that raised stupidity to an art form, led the U.S. and Canadian box office this weekend, taking in $38.1 million and outmuscling last week's winner, "Big Hero 6."
"Hero," Walt Disney Co's animated story of a boy and his robot, settled for a close second with $36 million, according to estimates provided by tracking firm Rentrak.
Director Christopher Nolan's space adventure "Interstellar" collected $29.2 million for third place.
"Dumb and Dumber To" stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as dimwitted friends searching for the long-lost daughter of one of the buddies. The original film, Dumb and Dumber," was among 1994's biggest hits, with $127.2 million in domestic ticket sales.
"We felt it was going to do over $30 million, but this is bordering on $40 million," said Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the film.
"The timing was right for a comedy of this nature, one with broad appeal," Rocco added, noting the studio successfully broadened the film's appeal to ethnic audiences, with Hispanics making up 38 percent of ticket buyers.
"Big Hero 6," which features the voices of Damon Wayans, Jr., James Cromwell and Maya Rudolph, has collected $111.7 million in the United States and Canada since opening on Nov. 7, for a global total of $148 million.
Disney said the film helped propel the studio's strong year at the box office. On Friday it surpassed $4 billion in global sales for the second time in its history.
New release "Beyond the Lights," the story of a pop star struggling with the pressures of fame who falls in love with a policeman, took fourth place with $6.5 million. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood's third film follows well-received titles "Love & Basketball" and "The Secret Life of Bees."
"Gone Girl," director David Fincher's box office hit starring Ben Affleck as a man suspected in his wife's disappearance, rounded out the top five with $4.6 million, bringing its domestic haul to $152.7 million.
Paramount, a unit of Viacom, distributed "Interstellar." Independent studio Relativity released "Beyond the Lights."
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by Crispian Balmer and W Simon)