The superhero sequel, again starring Benedict Cumberbatch, had opened last weekend to a year s best US$187 million. It has now earned US$292 million domestically and an additional US$396 million abroad for a global total of US$688 million.
Far behind in second place for the Friday-through-Sunday period was Universal s animated action-comedy The Bad Guys. The DreamWorks Animation production, with a voice cast led by Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Anthony Ramos, took in US$6.9 million.
In third for the second straight weekend was Paramount s family-friendly Sonic the Hedgehog 2, at US$4.6 million.
Firestarter, a new release from Universal based on the Stephen King horror-thriller, took in US$3.8 million, a disappointing opening for a major-studio thriller.
It stars Zac Efron (the onetime High School Musical heartthrob) and Sydney Lemmon (of Fear the Walking Dead fame) as parents who have been trying to hide daughter Ryan Kiera Armstrong from a shadowy federal agency that wants to use her, um, matchless ability to start fires using only her mind.
The film has received a dismal 12 per cent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, in sharp contrast to the fifth-place film, A24 s sci-fi yarn Everything Everywhere All at Once, which scored 96 per cent on the site and earned US$3.3 million in its eighth weekend out.
Michelle Yeoh stars in Everything as a beleaguered laundromat owner who must resolve some messy family issues while doing existential battle in a bizarre and chaotic multiverse.