Fans of the original horror movie, which became a surprise hit in 2013, have flocked to movie theatres to check out Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, helping it gross just a little less than the $41.5 million (£29.1 million) the first film banked in its opening weekend.

The Conjuring 2, directed by James Wan, easily topped its closest competitor Warcraft, which disappointed with poor reviews and fell just shy of estimates, taking second place with $24.4 million (£17.1 million).

However, the movie adaptation of the hit fantasy video game, directed by David Bowie's filmmaker son Duncan Jones, did prove to be a monster hit in China, where it impressed with a whopping $156 million (£110 million) in just five days.

The huge haul boosts Warcraft's global gross to $286.1 million (£201 million) worldwide, which no doubt comes as a relief to studio bosses at Universal, who poured $160 million (£112 million) into making the picture with stars Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper and Paula Patton.

Back in the North American market, another sequel, the star-studded Now You See Me: The Second Act, was named the third biggest draw, opening with earnings of $23 million (£16.2 million). Like The Conjuring follow-up, it too failed to top the original film's first weekend takings, which previously impressed with $29.3 million (£20.6 million) in 2013.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and X-Men: Apocalypse round out the new top five.