B.O. Roundup, March 7-9: '300' Sequel Rises Pretty Imperially

Sunday, 09 March 2014 10:34 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, March 7-9: '300' Sequel Rises Pretty Imperially

America got a big dose of shredded abs and speed-ramping this weekend thanks to 300: Rise of an Empire.

Faced with a choice between the 300 sequel and a family movie about a genius dog and his adopted pet human traveling through time, moviegoers went with the former.  300: Rise of an Empire opened at number one, while Mr. Peabody & Sherman debuted in second place, pushing last week's top dog, Non-Stop, down to third.

The sequel, which finds director Noam Murro adopting a Zack Snyder style, earned an estimated $45.05 million from 3,470 theaters in North America.

Seven years ago almost to the day, 300 opened to a whopping $70 million, going on to become the biggest R-rated movie of 2007.  With a less focused story and diminished novelty to the heavily stylized comic book adaptation, 300: Rise of an Empire wasn't expected to match its predecessor's debut by any means.  Still, factoring in inflation and the extra dough brought in by 3D, Rise of an Empire sold about half as many tickets as 300 did in its first weekend.

The Frank Miller adaptation benefited enormously from that extra dimension, since 3D showings accounted for 63% of business, far above the average.  3D also helped out abroad, as the second 300 movie has already collected 87.8 million in international markets.

Then there's Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which brings the canine scientist and his ward to the big screen after half a century as part of the pop culture landscape. Critics were far kinder to Rob Minkoff's animated adventure than to 300: Rise of an Empire, but the family dollar just didn't go as far this weekend; Mr. Peabody & Sherman opened to $32.5 million from 3,934 theaters, according to estimates.

This time-travel comedy also received a strong "A" CinemaScore from moviegoers, from which we can gather Mr. Peabody & Sherman will enjoy a long run based on solid word of mouth and a lack of new animated competition in the weeks to come.

On the other end of the top ten chart, 12 Years a Slave got a boost from last Sunday's Best Picture win at the Academy Awards.

And Wes Anderson's latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opened at just four locations in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $800,000.  That monstrous $200,000 per-theater average bodes well for the ensemble comedy, which will roll out in more theaters over the next several weeks.

Here are the top ten movies in North America for the weekend of March 7th through 9th, 2014:

1. 300: Rise of an Empire..........................$45.0 million..............New Release

2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman........................$32.5 million..............New Release

3. Non-Stop................................................$15.3 million..............$52.1 million

4. The Lego Movie......................................$11.0 million..............$224.9 million

5. Son of God..............................................$10.0 million..............$41.4 million

6. The Monuments Men.............................$3.1 million...............$70.6 million

7. 3 Days to Kill..........................................$3.0 million...............$25.5 million

8. Frozen....................................................$3.0 million...............$393.0 million

9. 12 Years a Slave....................................$2.1 million...............$53.1 million

10. Ride Along...........................................$2.0 million...............$129.9 million

The coming Friday brings Need for Speed and Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club to theaters nationwide, while Bad Words debuts and Veronica Mars makes her triumphant screen debut in limited release.


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