Released on this same weekend in 2007, the original 300 made $70 million those first three days, en route to an insane $210 million domestic. Think about that whenever you wonder how Gerard Butler was allowed to headline all those movies in the past six years. Nobody expected the time-release sequel 300: Rise of an Empire to match the numbers of the original, but just how much appeal this particular episode of Eva Green's Drag Race would hold was a bit up in the air. There are only so many gay men in this country, after all.
Your top five:
1. 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros.): $45 million in 3,470 theaters
That's enough for the third-biggest opening weekend of the year (behind The LEGO Movie and Ride Along), all of which is decidedly okay. It's tough to see Sullivan Stapleton and Callan Mulvey breaking out the way Gerard Butler and Michael Fassbender did from the original (though Mulvey is in the new Captain America movie). That said, if Eva Green wants to stop by Westeros for a Game of Thrones stint, I won't cry.
2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Fox): $32.5 million in 3,934 theaters
Again, peeking back at history, this movie did leagues better than The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle's $6.8 million bombing in 2000. Mr. Peabody had twice the budget, sure, but did five times the business, so that's fine, though don't expect it to make back that $145 million budget, at least domestically. Seems like Hollywood will continue to not learn from their mistakes.
3. Non-Stop (Universal): $15.3 million in 3,113 theaters
Dropping a fairly average 46% from last weekend's #1 opening, Liam Neeson's airplane adventure crossed the $50 million line and made back its budget, further solidifying Neeson as one of our most bankable action stars. Everybody who worked on Schindler's List totally saw this coming.
4. The LEGO Movie (Sony): $11 million in 3,290 theaters
Taking bets as to what film will be able to knock The LEGO Movie (currently at $224 million) off its perch as 2014's top earner. Divergent? It'd have to be more "The Next Hunger Games" and less "Hunger Games Lite." Captain America: The Winter Soldier? The first one topped out at $176 million. May's Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla may well be the next real contenders to best LEGO.
5. Son of God (Fox): $10 million in 3,271 theaters
Not surprisingly, Son of God's opening was pretty front-loaded, dropping 60% in its second week. Guess that fabled Lent box-office boost isn't what it used to be. (Note: there is no such thing as a Lent box-office boost.)