The bloodthirsty forces of
"Rise of an Empire," a 3-D sequel to the 2007 movie "300," grossed an estimated $45.1 million in ticket sales across the U.S. and Canada to take the No. 1 spot at the box office. The film, based on a graphic novel by
The first "300" movie was a surprise success when it was released seven years ago, bringing in a domestic total of $211 million. Like its predecessor, "Rise of an Empire" uses extensive visual effects to replicate the highly stylized, dream-like look of Miller's book.
The film drew mostly young men. More than 60% of audiences were male and under 35.
"Young males really went for it in a big way," said Jeff Goldstein, an executive vice president at
The R-rated movie, which cost an estimated $100 million to make, was unenthusiastically received by critics. It earned a "B" from audiences, according to polling from Cinemascore.
"Rise of an Empire" displaced the
"Mr. Peabody," a Dreamworks Animation movie that was released by
The movie received a Cinemascore rating of "A" and earned generally positive reviews from critics.
"It went up 81% on Saturday, which indicates that families have really come out strongly. It has great playability," said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at Fox.
On the heels of winning the Academy Award for best picture last week,
The Fox Searchlight release won a total of three
Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" opened Friday in limited release on four screens in New York and Los Angeles. The Fox Searchlight movie grossed an estimated $800,000 for a whopping per-screen average of $200,000.
The director's last feature,
"Budapest," starring Ralph Fiennes as the debonair manager of a European hotel, received glowing reviews from critics and has benefited from strong word of mouth. It is scheduled to go wider to 65 to 75 theaters starting next weekend, according to Frank Rodriguez, head of distribution at Fox Searchlight.