Universal’s fourth entry in the Jason Bourne franchise debuted solidly despite the absence of Matt Damon. Strong enough to depose The Dark Knight Rises, the film’s less familiar lead meant it could not however top the opening weekends of its two immediate predecessors in the franchise.

Rising star Jeremy Renner takes the role of Aaron Cross, a hand-picked super agent who went through a top secret training programme much like Bourne himself and must now deal with Machiavellian handlers back in Washington DC. Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton also star.

Warner Bros’ political satire The Campaign directed by Jay Roach and starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis arrived in second place on a laudable $27.4m while Mandate and Management 360’s marital drama and awards prospect Hope Springs, pairing the powerhouse duo of Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, opened midweek through Sony in fourth on $15.6m, rising to $20.1m by Sunday.

The aforementioned The Dark Knight Rises from Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures ranks third on $390.1m after four weekends. Sony’s Total Recall reboot fell four places to number six in its second weekend and stands at $44.2m.

Arc Entertainment’s sports comedy Nitro Circus The Movie 3D opened at number 13 on $1.2m and finished on Sunday at $2.2m.

In limited release Focus Features Moonrise Kingdom stands at $42.1m after 12 weekends, Fox Searchlight’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild has grossed $7.2m after seven and French smash The Intouchables has grossed $6.3m after 12 through TWC.

Next weekend’s wide releases include The Expendables 2 through Lionsgate; ParaNorman through Focus Features; drama Sparkle featuring Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke and the late Whitney Houston through TriStar; and Disney’s drama The Odd Life Of Timothy Green starring Jennifer Garner and Australia’s Joel Edgerton.

Estimated Top 10 North America Aug 10-12 2012
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Bourne Legacy (Universal) UPI $40.3m –

2 (-) The Campaign (Warner Bros) WBPI $27.4m –

3 (1) The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros) WBPI $19.5m $390.1m

4 (-) Hope Springs (Sony) SPRI $15.6m $20.1m
5 (3) Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dogs Days (Fox) Fox Int’l $8.2m $30.6m

6 (2) Total Recall (Sony) SPRI $8.1m $44.2m

7 (4) Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) Fox Int’l $6.8m $144.1m
8 (7) Ted (Universal) UPI $3.3m $209.9m
9 (6) Step Up Revolution (Summit) Summit Int’l $2.9m $30.2m
=10 (8) The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony) SPRI $2.2m $255.5m

=10 (5) The Watch (Fox) Fox Int’l $2.2m $31.4m