The “300:Rise of an Empire” roared to a $17. 7 million first day Friday, and is heading for an opening weekend at the box office that could hit $45 million.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ R-rated sword-and-sandals saga will knock the Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop” out of the spot and easily beat the weekend's other wide opener, DreamWorks Animation's “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” The family movie based on the 1960 cartoon debuted with $7.8 million Friday and could hit $30 million for the three days, which is at the high end of projections.
“Peabody” received an “A CinemaScore” from first-night audiences, while the “300″ sequel got a “B.”
On the specialty front. the Wes Anderson ensemble comedy “Grand Budapest Hotel” got off to a terrific start, bringing in $260,477 from two theaters in New York and two in Los Angeles. That's a $65,119 per-screen average which, if it holds up on Saturday and Sunday, will become one of the biggest limited openings ever. Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan and Tilda Swinton star in the film.
The opening of “Rise of an Empire” won't be close to the first weekend of the original “300,” but it's impressive given that it's been seven years since the Zack Snyder-directed original landed with a stunning $70 million in March of 2007. Noam Murro directed this one, which Snyder wrote and produced. Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green star in the tale, which focuses on a huge sea battle between the ancient Greeks and invading Persians.
It was in 3,470 theaters and, with many of them 3D and 343 Imax screens, the ticket up-charges had to be helping the film, which has the same ultra-stylized look of “300.”
The original brought in more than $456 million worldwide, with $245 million coming from overseas. “Rise of an Empire” could do even better abroad, and is off to a fast start. After two days in release it had taken in $12.1 million and ranked No. 1 in 29 of 31 markets, including France, Germany, Russia, Australia and Korea.
On its current pace, “Mr. Peabody” will do better than the first weekends of “Turbo” ($21 million last August) and “Rise of the Guardians” ($23 million), but finish down from other DreamWorks films that have launched in March including 2013's “The Croods” ($43.6 million) and 2010's “How to Train Your Dragon ($43.7 million).
Directed by Rob Minkoff (“The Lion King”), “Mr. Peabody” is voiced by Ty Burrell from TV's “Modern Family.” Ariel Winter, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Colbert and Allison Janney also chime in.
Universal's airplane thriller “Non-Stop” took in $4.6 million Friday, off 54 percent from its opening, and is looking at a $15 million second week and third place.
The solid showing by “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” which distributor Fox had in a market-high 3,934 theaters, came despite the presence of “The Lego Movie,” Warner Bros.’ animated hit that is still in 3,290 theaters. It brought in $2.3 million Friday and upped its domestic total to $216 million, with more than $345 million worldwide.
“The Lego Movie” was beating out Mark Burnett's Biblical saga “Son of God,” which took in $3.2 million Friday, a whopping 70 percent drop from its opening last week. The pared-down version of the History Channel miniseries “The Bible” will wind up with a $9 million second weekend and should cross $35 million domestically for Fox.
Fox Searchlight added 654 theaters for its Oscar Best-Picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” and it brought in $580,000 from 1,065 locations. That projects to a $2.3 million haul for “12 Years,” which has taken in more than $51 million domestically and another $90 million from overseas.
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Stephen Colbert can be a strict parent when it comes to monitoring what his children watch on television.
His criteria has less to do with the level of objectionable content on a show, “The Colbert Report” told Jimmy Fallon on Friday's episode of “The Tonight Show.” It's all about the humor.
“As a comedian the one thing that's agonizing is when they come in and watch something that's not funny and has got a laugh track and I'm not going to say the Disney Channel, but the Disney Channel,” Colbert said. “It's like please you're killing me. It's like a chef watching their child eat dirt.”
That's why Colbert said he was so excited about his latest gig providing one of the voices for DreamWorks Animation's “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” The time-traveling cartoon dog appeared in segments on the 1960s animated television series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” and the Comedy Central star is a big fan.
“As soon as they were available on DVD, the original cartoons, I showed them to my kids, I said, ‘you can watch as much of this as you want,'” Colbert said.
Watch the video:
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It was a “Saturday Night Live” reunion on Friday's “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” as Kenan Thompson stopped by to check in on his old cast mates.
Seth Meyers and band leader Fred Armisen welcomed their old cohort back with open arms, with Armisen lavishing Thompson with praise.
“I'm a roof,” Armisen said. “I'm above you and I'll keep you warm and safe always.”
It also prompted a trip down memory lane, as Thompson and Meyers remembered past travel nightmares. In one instance, Amtrak canceled their train, forcing the two men to rent a car together in order to get to a comedy show in Rhode Island. Yet, Thompson lacked a credit card and Meyers didn't have a license. They were saved because the woman at the rental car company was a fan of Thompson's Nickelodeon show, “All That.”
“They wanted to know where Kel is,” Thompson said, referencing his “All That” co-star.
The drive didn't go as smoothly.
“I had like night terrors for a week after,” Meyers said. “Where I'd be like ‘Kenan no!’ You drove so fast.”
Watch the video:
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OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M; Mr. Peabody and Sherman (FOX) $29M to $31M; Son of God (FOX) drops 60% or more in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY: Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal $54,000 per screen on Friday night.
UPDATED, Saturday 7:30 AM: This morning, Friday night numbers have been revised upwards slightly for 300: Rise of an Empire, the actioner that is playing the majority of its runs 3D formats from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. It is on its way to making around $44M this weekend. The first 300 (when it bowed in 2007) opened to $70.8M. At the same time, Mr. Peabody and Sherman has been revised down slightly by some distribs to $29.6M and higher by others to $31.1M as they try to figure out how strong the family audience will come out today for a new, kid-friendly picture. DreamWorks and Fox has seen Peabody gross about $40M in foreign markets already so if it makes the expected $29M to $31.1M this weekend domestically, it will be around $70M worldwide on a $145M negative.
Non-Stop, the Liam Neeson suspense thriller, has a slightly lower estimate as well and might drop around 40% in its sophomore weekend but on a $28M budget has already grossed $53.2M domestically and over $22M in foreign markets (so $75M). And Son of God looks like its going to fall 62% in its second weekend out — but, for a re-purposed film which was a re-edit of the TV, 10-part series The Bible that ran on History cable, it’s still looking at a total cume after this weekend of about $40M to $41.2M. From a marketing standpoint, I always wondered why more of those kind of series weren’t recut for the big screen as it would seem cost-efficient to produce properties that could find both small and big screen audiences. It will be a photo finish between 3 Days to Kill and Frozen as both expect to take around $3M this weekend, but it looks like Frozen in its 16th week will have a better per screen average than 3 Days in its 3rd week out. Here are the new numbers as they look this morning:
1). 300: Rise of an Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / $17.3M to $17.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $44.2M to $44.7M / Wk 1
2). Mr. Peabody and Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / $8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $29.6M to $32M / Wk 1
3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / $4.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $15.1M to $17M / Total cume: $51.8M to $54M / Wk 2
4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / $2.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $11.5M to $11.9M / Total cume: 225.6M to $225.9M / Wk 5
5). Son of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / $2.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $9.1M to $9.7M / Total cume: $41M to $42M / Wk 2
6/7). 3 Days to Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / $868K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3M / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk 3
Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / $630K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3M / Total cume: $393.1M / Wk 16
8). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / $860K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.8M to $3M / Total cume: $70.8M / Wk 5
9). 12 Years a Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 580K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.3M to $2.5M / Total cume: $53.2M to $53.$M / Wk 21
10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) / $560K Fri. / 3-day cume: 1.9M / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8
Previously, Friday 1:00 A.M.: Phenomenal per screen average numbers for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s idiosyncratic comedy starring an impressive ensemble cast (Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, etc.) led by Ralph Fiennes, just came in and have been added below (scroll down).
PREVIOUS, Friday 12:02 AM.: Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman (Fox/DreamWorks) are both kicking it at the box office this weekend based on Friday night numbers. After a stellar $3.3M in late nights Thursday, Rise of an Empire is on track to make anywhere from $43M to $45M this weekend and could have a per screen average over around $12,300, according to early Friday night estimates. It received a B Cinemascore. The animated Peabody is barking up the right tree and is expected to take in around $30M+ and all hopes are that it will appeal past the kiddie market as its budget is around $145M. It got an A CinemaScore. In third place will be Non-Stop (UNI) which is holding well (a drop of only 37%) in its second weekend out for a 3-day weekend haul of around $18M+. Total cume on the Liam Neeson starrer could top $55M by the end of the weekend. All eyes, however, have been on the faith-based Son of God from Fox which could take a 55% to 63% hit in its second weekend out. Still, the re-purposed film will have made around $43M by Sunday. And Disney’s Frozen is still in the Top Ten after 16 weeks at No. 7 or 8 while Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave expects to pull in around $2.6M more thanks to Fox adding screens which is traditionally done after Oscar weekend for those pictures still playing in theaters.
NOTEWORTHY: The Grand Budapest Hotel from filmmaker Wes Anderson opened on 4 screens in L.A. and N.Y. and took in $216K Friday night for a per screen average of $54,000, surpassing The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis. Distribs have it estimated at a $663K weekend or a screen average of $165,900 for the weekend. Uh no, not kidding. Sony’s Monuments Men shed about 1,000 theaters as did Sony/MGM’s RoboCop (down 1,171 runs and expected cume after the 3-day at $54.7M) — same with Pompeii (cume is only $21.2M) as exhibs know when to cut and run other films. Here are the numbers tonight, but positions and estimates may change in the morning.
Kalvert was found in his home in Woodland Hills, Calif.. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide.
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Mojo, Marvel's disgusting alien villain who programs addictive TV fare throughout the universe, shows up on this weekend's episode of Disney XD's Marvel's Avengers Assemble.
Voiced by actor and radio star Ralph Garman (Joe Schmo, Family Guy), this version of Mojo is an intergalactic broadcasting master whose reality competition show pits characters against each other in a death match. The more viewers who watch, the more powerful and richer Mojo becomes. (Actually, that does sound like a few TV executives we know.)
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Singer John Denver never called West Virginia home, but his 1970s hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of the state’s official songs. Forty-three years after it first hit the airwaves with the words “Almost Heaven, West Virginia,” the Legislature approved a resolution Friday designating it as one of four state songs.
Federal prosecutors had charged James Rosemond and Rodney Johnson in the 2009 shooting death of Lowell Fletcher, an associate of rapper G-Unit.
Late-night competitor Stephen Colbert stopped by Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, discussed playing Paul Peterson in Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and tried to get Fallon to plug his Comedy Central show during a round of Truth or Truth. Watch here: