Jeff Bridges’ sci-fi sequel Tron: Legacy has nabbed the number one spot at the US box office after taking a $43.6 million (£28 million) on its opening weekend.

The Disney film picks up where the original, 1982 Tron movie left off with Jeff Bridges’ character catapulted into a virtual reality world called Grid.

The fact that the first Tron film, also starring Bridges, was something of a box office turkey on its release has left studio executives scratching their heads over the huge success of Tron:Legacy.

“I sure wish I knew, because there is a very, very committed core group of people who just love that movie, and they have fanned the opening-weekend grosses,” said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney.

The film, which also stars Garrett Hedlund as Bridges’ son easily beat its nearest competition, Dan Aykroyd’s Yogi Bear, which took $16.7 million.

Tron: Legacy has done well commercially despite getting mixed reviews from the critics.

Box Office Magazine hailed Bridges for his “groundbreaking performance” while the Los Angeles Times said: “New players, a new story line, a new director and nearly three decades of improved technology including all the whiz-bang-wow the latest 3-D has to offer. Unfortunately, there’s not nearly enough new life.”