March is already to a wild start with two major tentpoles going head-to-head. 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody & Sherman both debut this Friday in theaters and expected to claim the top two spots at the weekend box office. The question however, is which film will emerge victorious.
In 300: Rise of an Empire, Zack Snyder steps away from the director’s chair for this sequel to the 2007 hit. Snyder is still involved as the film’s screenwriter, but this time it’s Noam Murro (Smart People) taking the reins. Based on the unreleased Frank Miller graphic novel, Xerxes, Rise of an Empire is essentially a companion piece to 300. Part prequel, part sequel, Rise of an Empire concentrates on the war’s naval battles. Eva Green joins the cast as the vengeful Persian commander Artemisia, who faces off with Sullivan Stapleton’s Themistocles.
300: Rise of an Empire clashes swords starting 8 p.m. Thursday night. Even with inflation and loaded 3D engagements, 300: Rise of an Empire is expected to fall short of 300’s $70 million opening. The sequel may pull in little over half that haul.
Clashing this Friday against the Spartan sequel is Mr. Peabody & Sherman from DreamWorks Animation and Fox. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is the first of three animated films out this year from the studio. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is due out June 13 and Home on November 26.
Based on the segments from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Peabody and Sherman arrive on the big screen for a contemporary audience. In the film, Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) and Sherman (Max Charles) travel through time to put the space-time continuum back on track. With The LEGO Movie now in its fifth week, Mr. Peabody & Sherman should take some of the film’s traffic away.
DreamWork Animation has had plenty of success in March with hits such as Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon and last year’s The Croods. All three films opened above $40 million. Expect Mr. Peabody and Sherman to follow suit with a $37 million opening in an estimated 3,800 theaters.
Box Office Projections
1. 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros.) – $42.1 million (NR)
2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox) – $37.2 million (NR)
3. Non-Stop (Universal) – $13.6 million (1)
4. Son of God (20th Century Fox) – $12.8 million (2)
5. The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) – $12.5 million (3)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.