March 8, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “300: Rise Of An Empire” Takes No Prisoners


No one expected 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (Warners/Legendary) to equal the giant start of its predecessor, after 7 years and with most of the cast gone–and it won’t.  But based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, the spin-off is launching well, with a $17M Friday (which includes $3.3M from Thursday night) that should mean a $40M+ weekend.  (In comparison, the original 300 had a $28.1M opening day and $70.9M weekend.)  It remains to be seen how frontloaded the new epic will be, but this could set it up for $125M+ in the US, and probably much better overseas.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN (DreamWorks Animation/20th) had a moderate $8M opening day, less than half the $17.1M that The Lego Movie had just a month ago, and also below the $11.6M start for last March’s DreamWorks Animation effort The Croods.  Peabody should be headed to a $30M weekend, an OK start.

Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) is only in 4 NY/LA theatres, and it’s reporting a phenomenal $54K per-theatre average for Friday alone, which could mean a $165K weekend average.  That would be the all-time highest opening average for a non-animated film that didn’t (a la Kevin Smith’s Red State) include a live stage component, putting it ahead of the $147K average for The Master, which started with a $48K opening day average at 5 theatres.

Holdovers will all look better than they usually would on a weekend-to-weekend basis, because of last week’s slow Oscar Sunday.  NON-STOP (Universal) dropped a bit over 50% from last Friday to $4.9M, for a likely $17M+ weekend.  The more frontloaded SON OF GOD (20th) dropped a much heavier 70% Friday-to-Friday, down to $2.8M and a weekend that might not hit $10M, depending on its Sunday performance.

Even with Peabody‘s arrival, THE LEGO MOVIE (Warners) dropped less than 50% to $2.4M on Friday, with another $12M in store for the weekend.  With 2 Oscars in its pocket, FROZEN (Disney) barely dropped from last Friday, down about 13% to $625K, with a $3M weekend ahead that will put it in shouting distance of a $400M US total.

Thinking of Oscars, 12 YEARS A SLAVE (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 1065 theatres even though it’s also available on homevideo, and after a $625K Friday, it should have a $2M+ weekend, as those who’ve postponed seeing it for months on a big screen finally catch up.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."