Warner Bros. reports that 300: Rise of an Empire grossed a strong $17.7 million on opening day, including Thursday night's $3.3 million start. BoxOffice projects a $42.5 million debut weekend.
The debut may be notably off from the original 300's $28.1 million opening day/$70.9 million opening weekend--especially when considering seven years of inflation and 3D prices--but there's no doubt that WB has pulled off a somewhat impressive feat here. The sequel had been tracking more modestly until days before release, bringing to question whether or not the wait for a follow-up without the original's main star (Gerard Butler) and evolutionary marketing campaign had been too long. Now we know. Early word of mouth for Rise of an Empire isn't on fire, but its current 73 percent Flixster score could be much worse given the fanboy core audience.
Meanwhile, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is off to a fair start as well. The Fox/DreamWorks animation hauled in $8 million on Friday, setting it up for a projected $30 million weekend. Though not as encouraging as The Croods' $11.7 million opening day/$43.6 million opening weekend last March, positive reviews and early word of mouth (81 percent on Flixster) could still help Peabody go well past the $100 million domestic mark before all is said and done.
Last week's top flick, Non-Stop, slid 53 percent from its opening day to $4.7 million yesterday. The Liam Neeson thriller has tallied $41.4 million in its first 8 days. BoxOffice projects a $15.5 million sophomore frame.
Fox's Son of God earned another $2.7 million yesterday, off 71 percent from its opening day gross last Friday. The Biblical adaptation has pulled $34.2 million in its first 8 days of release. BoxOffice projects a $9.5 million second weekend.
The LEGO Movie rounded out the top five on Friday with an additional $2.5 million in the bank, down 43 percent from the same day last week. The animated breakout's domestic total now stands at $216.5 million. BoxOffice projects $11.3 million for this weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris