Seven years after the record-breaking $70.9 million domestic debut of Zack Snyder’s 300, Israeli director Noam Murro’s sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, opened with a comparatively modest $45.1 million (though it did earn another $87.8 million internationally.) It wasn’t a bad start: The second reimagining of ancient Greece, with its cartoonish 3-D battles and crazy sex scene, easily beat out the weekend box office’s runner-up, the animated Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which took in $32.5 million domestically.
Last weekend’s Liam Neeson-starring winner, Non-Stop, fell 47 percent, to $15.4 million, putting it in third place at the box office with $52.1 million in cumulative domestic earnings. The apparently irresistible Lego Movie took fourth place with $11 million, and has now earned a very impressive $225 million domestically. Christian movie Son of God rounded out the top five with $10 million, putting its total earnings at $41.5 million. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel set a record of its own after opening in just four Los Angeles and New York theaters: It earned $800,000 over the weekend, or an average of $200,000 per screen — the best ever location average for a live-action film.