By Rodrigo Perez | The Playlist March 9, 2014 at 2:12PM
It arrived much too late, some seven years after the fact. It was met with most middling reviews, and it featured no real stars to speak of. But that could not stop “300: Rise Of An Empire,” the slightly less-ripped, less-sweaty, otherwise pretty-much-the-same sequel from dominating the box office (our review here). The Warner Bros. sequel might not have been in vogue with the blogosphere, but the rest of the country was more than happy to attend.
The movie opened to a very solid $45 million this weekend, and despite the sagging interest in 3D stateside, more than 60% of audiences were happy to pay the surcharge to see the movie steroscopically. Furthermore, “300: Rise of an Empire” opened to a fantastic $87.8 million overseas, which is keeping with the rest of the global box office-loving folks like Bruce Willis, and generally behaving like they are 10 years behind culturally. The movie could not reach the incredible $70 million opening the original had in 2007, but across the same markets internationally, the movie grossed 10% more than the original. In short, no one knows nothing aside from maybe the “300” producers, who evidently had confidence that an after-the-fact sequel would still work. But if they want to move ahead, will they bother waiting another eight years for Frank Miller to write another graphic novel from scratch? Or will they just say, “fuck it, we own this, let’s move forward?”
Not a smash opening for an animated film, but Fox's "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" still came in at the solid second slot with $32 million, and it should presumably be able to hit the $100 million mark eventually. In its second week of release, Liam Neeson’s “Non-Stop” only dipped 47%, has already outgrossed the domestic total of “The Grey” and by next weekend should surpass “Unknown.”
The movie has grossed $72 million worldwide and the Liam Neeson machine looks like it has no end in sight. "Son of God" fell 63% and presumably will be out of the box office top 10 within a week or so. “The Lego Movie” is obviously sticking around (5 weeks within the top 4), has grossed $360 million worldwide so far and the question likely remains, not if it can pass $400, but how much higher than $500 million it can go. The story remains the same for “The Monuments Men.” Slow and steady is its trajectory, and it’s been in the box office top 10 for five weeks, despite fantastic grosses.
Unsurprisingly after its Academy Award win for Best Picture, “12 Years A Slave” saw a 146% jump and popped back into the top 10 (the first time since November) and it’s now grossed $53 million domestically and $143 million worldwide. Elsewhere, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” might be long gone even from the top 20, but it’s now grossed $937 million worldwide
Lest you think it’s over for the “RoboCop” remake (and, admittedly, we kinda did at first), the 2014 version has grossed $220 million worldwide so far, and at this rate could probably go all the way to $300. Sony probably smells a sequel when all is said and done with DVD/Blu-Ray etc.
In limited release news, Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' had a stupendous opening at art houses, averaging $200,000 per-theater this weekend to break the all-time record. That ranks 9th all-time (including the average of wide releases) and number #1 in limited release, so Fox Searchlight will be celebrating as that bodes well for its wider release next weekend. The all-time top three limited releases per-screen average is now “Grand Budapest Hotel,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and Wes’ own “Moonrise Kingdom.” Who says being on top of the limited release throne is like being the tallest midget alive?
1. 300: Rise of an Empire – $45 million
2. 2 Mr. Peabody & Sherman – $32.5 million
3. 3 Non-Stop – $15.4 million
4. The LEGO Movie – $11.5 million
5. Son of God – $10 million
6. The Monuments Men – $3.1 million
7. 3 Days to Kill – 3.06 million
8. Frozen – $3.02 million
9. 12 Years a Slave – $2.1 million
10. Ride Along – $2 million