The blood (and dollars) was flowing at the box office this weekend, as both new releases opened very strong.
300: Rise of an Empire (read our review) is the number 1 film this weekend with a very impressive $45 million. It's been 7 years since the first 300 debuted to a then record-breaking $70 million tally, and even though Rise of the Empire lacks any of the first film's key players, it still posted the second best opening of the year so far. Not to mention, Rise of an Empire is doing very well overseas, grossing $87 million in about 32 markets.
The film does have some stiff, action-focused competition looming in the horizon, but it should be able to clear its $100 million budget easily. We wouldn't be surprised if Warner Bros. announced another follow-up is in the works very soon.
Coming in at number 2 is Mr. Peabody & Sherman (read our review) with $32.5 million. With Frozen having now run its course at the box office and LEGO Movie declining, the road was wide open for this film to rake in the dough.
Even with its limited marketing and relatively obscure source material, for this generation's youngsters at least, Mr. Peabody & Sherman did very well for itself. Yes, its tally is a little low for an animated release, but the film should clear $100 million when all is said and done.
The Liam Neeson vehicle Non-Stop fell to number 3 in its second weekend with $15.3 million. While not nearly as strong of a performance as the Taken films, Non-Stop is performing admirably with $52 million thus far. The film has surpassed its $50 million budget and is well on its way to a very lucrative box office run.
In at number 4 is The LEGO Movie with $11 million. Warner Brothers' latest hit continues to add to its total, further asserting itself as the film to beat in 2014. The LEGO Movie is now at $224 million domestic.
Rounding out the top 5 is Son of God with $10 million. Fox's film had a huge drop off in its second weekend, but that should be no matter. $41 million after two weeks is a very impressive performance for the film, which is actually repurposed footage from The Bible miniseries.
In at number 6 is The Monuments Men with $3.1 million, which brings its domestic total up to $70 million. Although the film has been going strong as the number three highest grossing film of 2013, Monuments Men now has some competition headed its way. Now that we have a clearer picture, though, it looks like The Monuments Men's delay into early 2014 was a smart move.
The number 7 film this weekend is 3 Days to Kill with $3.06 million. The Kevin Costner action flick is hanging around, but its $25 million after three weeks isn't anything to write home about. The good news is the film will surpass its $28 million budget by next weekend.
Frozen is the number 8 film this weekend with $3.01 million. The Best Animated Feature Oscar winner held pretty solid this weekend, retaining almost all of its audience. After a whopping 16 weeks on the top 10, Frozen has grossed $393 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide.
Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave comes in at number 9 with $2.1 million, up 122% from last weekend. The uptick was likely due to the film's multi-award win last Sunday which spurned on an increase in theater count (+654 screens). Steve McQueen's moving story has now grossed $53 million.
Rounding out the top 10 is Ride Along with $2 million. The Ice Cube and Kevin Hart pseudo-buddy cop comedy has grossed a very impressive $129 million after 8 weeks, but this should be the film's last weekend in the top 10. Should be.
Outside the top 10: Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel opened with $800,000 on just four screens for a per-screen-average of $200,000. That's the 9th best per-screen-average ever. The film will continue to expand throughout the month.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, March 10th - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo