It was a tale of two time-travel movies at the US box office this weekend. Admittedly, no one in the battle-crazed 300: Rise Of An Empire hops into a modified DeLorean at any point, but it does take us back in time, via Frank Miller’s work, to a pseudo-historical era. The blood-splattered sequel overcame the worries that it was eight years too late to capitalise on the success of Zack Snyder’s original, earning $45 million and a spot atop the chart.
Admittedly, it’s not a patch on the 2007 parent film's huge $70 million launch, but given the gap between the two and the fact that Snyder handed over directing chores to Noam Murro, it’s still an impressive feat. It was enough to overcome the family appeal of DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which nonetheless managed a $35 million start. Hopes hadn’t been quite as high for this as, say, for the next instalment of How To Train Your Dragon, but it seems to be catching on with audiences, even over here in the UK where the characters aren’t as well known. The question now will be whether the tale of a time-travelling dog and his adopted human son will have legs, but it's sufficiently charming that we expect it to stick around a while.
Liam Neeson and his new airborne thriller Non-Stop were pushed to third, though the film still managed $15.3 million even after Eva Green and co. muscled in on its male-skewing audience. The Lego Movie, meanwhile, slipped just one place to fourth, withstanding the new animated competition to add $11 million to its impressive $224 million in the US (and $346 million worldwide). Bible saga Son Of God fell from second to fifth, earning $10 million.
Monuments Men was sixth, taking in $3.1 million, ahead of 3 Days To Kill, which slumped to seventh with $3.06 million. Frozen remains a sensation, clinging to eighth place for an impressive fourth week, with $3.01 million in the bank this week and more than $393 million in total in the US. It remains to be seen whether its home entertainment release on March 18 stops its momentum, but with more than $1 billion in the coffers worldwide, Disney won’t be unhappy even if it leaves the top 10.
At ninth, 12 Years A Slave rode that best picture Oscar – via a screen count expansion – back into the charts with $2.1 million, while Ride Along stuck in 10th place for $2 million.
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