The sci-fi sequel, starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, and Zachary Quinto, easily beamed its way to number one, but the third instalment of the new movie franchise fell short of its previous opening weekend figures.

The original Star Trek reboot in 2009 garnered an impressive $75.2 million (£57.2 million), while 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness opened with $70.2 million (£54.4 million).

Despite the drop in first weekend takings, Justin Lin's movie easily outpaced its competitors - The Secret Life of Pets slips to second place with $29.3 million (£22.3 million) in its third weekend of release, while independent horror Lights Out ties with the all-female Ghostbusters remake for third place with $21.6 million (£16.4 million).

The latest Ice Age sequel, Collision Course, rounds out the new top five at five, after failing to cause much disruption in the box office chart with a disappointing $21 million (£16 million) debut.

Star Trek Beyond helped to open the 2016 Comic-Con event in San Diego, California on Wednesday night (20Jul16), when the film's stars took a moment to remember late castmember Anton Yelchin, who portrayed Chekov, after he died in a freak car accident last month (Jun16).

Producer J.J. Abrams, who directed the previous two instalments in the sci-fiction franchise, led the cast and fans in a moment of silent reflection ahead of the film's U.S. premiere.

According to Deadline.com, J.J. took to the stage at San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park Amphitheater and said, "There's something missing. There's someone missing. Anton should be here," before calling for the impeccably observed minute's silence.

Abrams has since revealed the role of Chekov will not be recast out of respect to the tragic actor, as studio bosses begin discussions for a fourth Star Trek film, which will see the return of Chris Hemsworth as Chris Pine's onscreen father.