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There's been a promotional blitz of epic proportions surrounding the release of the 300 sequel 300: Rise of an Empire. The question is whether or not it was successful enough to confirm the rise of a franchise.
300: Rise of an Empire may have landed solidly at number one this weekend, but it fell far short of the glory that was the opening of its predecessor. 300 offered something visually new when it arrived in March of 2007, and audiences flocked. It banked $70 million its opening weekend, becoming then the third highest rated R opening ever. Rise of an Empire took in $45 million this weekend, a substantial number but perhaps not what studios were hoping for.
The movie's production budget is advertised as $110 million (compared with 300's $60 million price tag) though that number doesn't include the costs for what has been a massive marketing blitz. But already the movie has topped $132 million in world-wide sales and while it may not reach the same financial success as the first entry, it's certainly going to end up in the black. But will it generate enough interest to bring players back to the table for a third serving of over-the-top, pseudo-historical, CG coated gratuitous violence fest?
Mr. Peabody and Sherman went a bit to the dogs this weekend, debuting with just $32 million. Compare that with its inexplicably large $145 million budget (seriously, it cost more to make than 300: Rise of an Empire?) and you can bet the folks at DreamWorks animation will be showing up to work on Monday with their tails between their legs. Good thing they have the bullet proof How To Drain Your Dragon 2 on deck to balance out the books.
12 Years A Slave enjoyed a post-Oscar resurgence, jumping back up into the bottom of the top ten to add a few extra million to its modest grand total.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: