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Whisper Numbers: 300: Rise of Empire storms the box office

A couple of 3D films targeted at different demographics battle it out at the weekend box office. The ancient Greek epic sequel 300: Rise of an Empire [XERXE] finally marches back into theaters seven years after 300 shocked the industry with a then-record March opening of $70.9 million. The 2D film revived the swords-n-sandals genre and its slow-motion action cinematography was widely imitated. The R-rated sequel follows the naval battle of Salamis fought after the battle of Thermopylae that wiped out the 300 Spartans. With Gerard Butler’s charismatic Leonidas dead, Warner Bros. has focused its marketing on Rodrigo Santoro [RSANT] as the Persian God-King Xerxes and Lena Headey [LHEAD] as Leonidas' wife, moreso than the new leads Sullivan Stapleton [SSTAP] as the Greek general Themistokles and Eva Green [EGREE] as Artemisia. Even with the addition of 3D, the sequel is unlikely to match the opening of the original. Too many years and similar films have passed.   300: Rise of an Empire may tally $40 million from 3470 theaters.

Based on characters from the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" cartoon show from the 1960s, Mr. Peabody & Sherman [MRPBS] from DreamWorks Animation follows a genius dog and his pet boy who travel through history in a time machine. The PG-rated Fox release looks to appeal only to families with children, and unlikely to attract other demographics like The LEGO Movie, which is still holding firm in the top five. The last DreamWorks Animation film Turbo had a ridiculous premise and managed only a $21.3 million opening in July.  The Croods had a strong family theme and debuted with $44 million a year ago.  Mr. Peabody & Sherman is likely to fall somewhere in between. Playing in 3932 theaters, Mr. Peabody & Sherman could come back with $32 million.

With direct competition from the 300 sequel, Non-Stop [NONST] looks to fall about 55% to $13 million. Without group sales to goose the box office, Son of God [SOGOD] is likely to drop more than 55% to $11 million.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): XERXE, RSANT, LHEAD, SSTAP, EGREE, MRPBS, NONST, SOGOD

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By Box Office WHisperer on Thursday, March 6, 2014 @ 04:04 PM 2563 views

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