Lone Survivor has triumphed in its first weekend of release to rise to the top of the US and Canadian box office. The war movie, which stars Mark Wahlberg, has defied critics in topping the weekend's movie theaters, dislodging the No.1 place stalwart Frozen and earning $38.5 million, exceeding the $26 million prediction.

Lone Survivor Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg's New Movie Has Shot To The Top Of The North American Box Office.

Based on a memoir written by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the movie opened on a crowded weekend that launched other eagerly anticipated films such as Her and The Legend of Hercules. The film accomplished the impressive task of dethroning Frozen, a film that saw off competition from Anchorman 2, The Hobbit 2 and American Hustle.

"Harrowing," "well-made" and "visceral" - read our 'Lone Survivor' review.

"It's a great ensemble cast and Wahlberg is a big part of that," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, via Business Week. "He has proven across any genre that he is a consistent box office draw."

Watch The 'Lone Survivor' Trailer:

The film stars Wahlberg as Luttrell, one of the four members of SEAL Team 10 who in 2005 were tasked with capturing or killing the Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. The real life story also co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana.

Read a 'Lone Survivor' reviews round-up.

Though Lone Survivor's immersive attention to detail and densely coordinated fight scenes have been praised by critics, many have been left crying out for a little humanity in the violent picture. The movie stands accused of being filmed like a one player shooter game and rendering the Taliban as senseless killers and one dimensional enemies.

Taylor Kitsch Lone Survivor
The Movie Has Defied Critics, Who Suggested That The Action Was Too One-Dimensional.

The movie experienced early financial scepticism, despite the impressive and reliable cast. There were initial fears that the movie wouldn't perform well in the European market because it wasn't political enough; fears which seem to have been assuaged after such a promising start in North America. The movie is Wahlberg's second No.1 debut of the same year after cop comedy-thriller 2 Guns was also placed first in August 2013.

Lone Survivor will be released in the UK on the 31st January.