Sunday, March 9, 2014

"300: Rise of An Empire" leads with impressive $45 million, "Mr. Peabody" finishes in second at weekend box office

With two strong releases, this weekend's overall gross was $141.99 million which is higher than last year at the same time. Much of that can be contributed to the somewhat surprising success of 300: Rise of an Empire, the belated sequel to 300. The R-rated action flick grossed $45 million this weekend, which is much higher than most prognosticators expected. Rise of an Empire received a "B" Cinemascore, but I still believe that it will stay strong for at least a few more weeks. I'm betting that the film will finish around $120 million. Rise of an Empire had an especially strong start considering that 300 came out seven years ago. That's a long time ago and audiences have short memories. Rise of an Empire also opened to $87.8 million overseas, which adds up to a total worldwide opening of $132.8 million. I'm pretty excited to see the movie next weekend.

Dreamworks Animation might have another disappointment on their hands with Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The animated comedy grossed $32.5 million this weekend, which is one of the lowest debuts in the company's history. Mr. Peabody and Sherman is also budgeted at $145 million, which could spell disaster for the company. Turbo and Rise of the Guardians already disappointed in recent years and another flop could mean serious financial trouble. It did receive an "A" Cinemascore, but I'm not sure that will do much. Peabody will probably finish over $100 million, but it won't break even.

Non-Stop also continued its strong run in third place with $15.3 million. That's a pretty solid second weekend for the thriller which has now grossed $52.1 million. The action flick will probably finish with around $80 million. The LEGO Movie took a bit of a hit this weekend, finishing in fourth place with $11 million. The animated comedy has now grossed $224.9 million and will likely struggle to hit $250 million. Son of God also took a substantial hit this weekend, finishing in fifth place with $10 million. That's a 61% drop from last weekend. The religious drama has now grossed $41.4 million.

The Monuments Men finished in sixth place with $3.1 million. The drama has had a strong run so far and has now grossed $70.6 million. 3 Days to Kill finished in seventh place with $3 million. The action drama has been a bit of a disappointment and has only grossed $25.5 million. Good thing it only cost $28 million to make. Frozen continued its amazing run in eighth place with $3 million. The animated film has now $393 million and will probably reach $400 million by the end of its run.

One of the more interesting stories this weekend was the 12 Years A Slave finished in ninth place with $2.1 million. The Best Picture-winning drama has now grossed $53.1 million. It jumped 123% from last weekend. And finally, Ride Along rounded out the top ten with $2 million. The buddy cop comedy has now grossed $129.9 million. Also, The Grand Budapest Hotel grossed $800,000 in limited release for a massive $200,000 per theater average. That's one of the best averages ever and an amazing debut for the film.

Next weekend sees the release of Need for Speed, Veronica Mars and The Single Moms Club. Here are my predictions:

1. Need for Speed- $25.3 million
2. 300: Rise of an Empire- $22 million
3. Mr. Peabody and Sherman- $18 million
4. The Single Moms Club- $12.1 million
5. Non-Stop-$9.1 million
6. The LEGO Movie- $6 million
7. Son of God- $4.9 million
8. The Monuments Men- $2.1 million
9. Frozen- $2 million
10. 12 Years A Slave- $1.8 million

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