The earthquake disaster movie San Andreas has stormed the U.S box office, taking $53.2 million to further establish Dwayne Johnson as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. San Andreas knocked last week's number-one, Tomorrowland, into third place, with Pitch Perfect 2 in second.

San AndreasSan Andreas is now Dwayne Johnson's biggest non-sequel debut at the box-office

San Andreas' success allayed fears that audiences in quake-prone regions would actively avoid the film.

Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, said: "Some people felt they'd be a little nervous watching such a disaster hit both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but there was a curiosity factor."

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Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures Entertainment's president of worldwide distribution, said the film did "well enough with women aged 25-34 to overcome the negative buzz."

The box-office tracker Rentrak said San Andreas was now Johnson's biggest debut for a non-sequel, though the movie wasn't a popular release at Warner Bros. In leaked emails last year, it emerged that Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal said the script was "ridiculous." Elsewhere, some Hawaiian groups opposed the title, while an Asian-American group slated the use of an almost entirely white cast.

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Elsewhere at the box-office, Mad Max: Fury Road was in fourth place, The Avengers: Age of Ultron came in fifth, while Cameron Crowe's romantic comedy Aloha starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams came in sixth place after being savaged by the critics. 

So far this year, US and Canadian box-office taking are up nearly 5% at $4.26 billion, while attendances is up for more 4%. 

Watch the trailer for San Andreas: