The box office pundits and the industry experts said that this weekend was going to be a toss up between 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and the victor was 300.

The film, which was originally scheduled to come out last August until Warners pushed it back until this weekend, beat all the competition with a surprising $45 million. Though that doesn’t beat the $71 million that the first 300 movie did in its opening weekend, back in 2007, it's better than what was expected.

And the film did better than expected, considering that Peabody and Sherman was supposed to give 300 a real battle for first place. However Peabody came in second with $32.5 million which is still not a bad haul itself.

Evidently the first 300 still has its fervent admirers, and this time putting a female co-lead (Eva Green) in the film, unlike the first film which had no women in major lead roles in it that I can recall, perhaps generated not only interest in the sequel among 300 geeks, but also with those who would have normally skipped the film.

Meanwhile Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel broke box office records in its opening limited release, earning an amazing $800,000 in only 4 theaters in N.Y. and L.A.

That’s 50% better than the limited opening for Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which went on to gross $45 million domestically. Anderson’s highest grossing film to date. 

Hotel looks pretty good to beat that record.

But the other question, following up on a piece I wrote last week, is if there would be any signs of an “Oscar Bump” for 12 Years A Slave? It was too early to tell, just a few days after its Best Picture Oscar win, and that, perhaps we would have to wait until this weekend to find out the answer.

And the answer is yes.

Despite the fact that it comes out on DVD last week, 12 Years jumped back into the weekend top ten slot at No. 9 from last week's 13th place, with $2,175,000, an increase of 122% from last weekend. With a total so far of $53 million the film is in line to reach my predicted $55 million domestic final total gross for the film, which has earned $143 million worldwide to date.

1) 300: Rise of An Empire WB $45,050,000 
2) Mr. Peabody & Sherman Fox $32,500,000 
3) Non-Stop Uni. $15,378,000 Total: $52,117,000 
4) The LEGO Movie WB $11,005,000 Total: $224,974,000 
5) Son of God Fox $10,000,000 Total: $41,494,000
6) The Monuments Men Sony $3,100,000 Total: $70,602,000 
7) 3 Days to Kill Rela. $3,062,000 Total: $25,556,000 
8) Frozen BV $3,010,000 Total: $393,051,000 
9) 12 Years a Slave FoxS $2,175,000 Total: $53,107,000 
10) Ride Along Uni. $2,004,000 Total: $129,968,000 
11) RoboCop  Sony $2,000,000 Total: $54,746,000 
12) About Last Night  SGem $1,650,000 Total: $46,498,000