300: Rise of an Empire was the big winner this weekend, as the sequel to a film that came out 7 years ago pulled in $45 million from an audience that was, predictably, 62% male. They gave the movie a "B" Cinemascore and the opening is nowhere close to the $70 million debut of the first movie back in 2005, but it's already made $87 million overseas, so that's enough to qualify this as a hit, despite the bad reviews. In second place was Dreamworks' Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which came on strong with $32 million, above the studio's expectations. Crowds also loved the movie, giving it an "A" rating, so this one may stick around for a while, depending on how much of the family audience Muppets Most Wanted can steal in a couple of weeks.
Liam Neeson's Non-Stop fell to third place with $15 million, and The Lego Movie and Son of God rounded out the top five, with $11 million and $10 million respectively. The Lego Movie's made $225 million domestically, by far the biggest hit of the year. In limited release, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel scored a massive opening, hauling in $800,000 from just 4 theaters. That puts its per-screen-average at $200k, which is the biggest ever for a live-action film. The movie's expanding in the next few weeks, but I still think Wes Anderson is kind of a novelty attraction, so I wouldn't expect it to suddenly become a blockbuster for mainstream audiences.
- 300: Rise of an Empire- $45 million
- Mr. Peabody and Sherman- $32.5 million
- Non-Stop- $15.4 million
- The Lego Movie- $11.1 million
- Son of God- $10 million
The Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave, was re-released in 1000 theaters over the weekend, pulling in another $2 million despite just recently coming out on DVD/blu-ray, enough for a place in the top ten. Next week it's Aaron Paul in Need for Speed (going after the Fast & Furious crowd) along with Veronica Mars (woo-hoo!) and Jason Bateman's black comedy, Bad Words, which he directed. See you then!