LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) - "Noah", starring Russell Crowe as the biblical figure who built an ark to save his family and specimens of every animal from the great flood, collected $44 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales to lead the weekend box office.
It sailed past last weekend's winner, "Divergent", which is based on the novel by Veronica Roth about a dystopian world divided into factions. "Divergent" collected $26.5 million and a total of $95 million since its March 21 release.
"Muppets Most Wanted", starring Ty Burrell and Tina Fey with Jim Henson's furry puppets, was third with $11.4 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates provided by Rentrak.
"Noah" was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. Walt Disney Co distributed "Muppets". "Divergent" was released by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp .
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by Sophie Hares)