Weekend Box Office Report: ‘American Sniper’ Meets Its Match in SpongeBob Squarepants
After spending nearly a month dominating the box office, the mighty ‘American Sniper’ has fallen. And no, it did not fall to the massively expensive sci-fi epic ‘Jupiter Ascending’ and it didn’t fall to the massively expensive fantasy epic ‘Seventh Son,’ both of which arrived with a thud. No, it fell to a cartoon sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
|1||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||$56,000,000||$15,380||$56,000,000|
|6||Project Almanac||$5,330,000 (-35.9)||$1,838||$15,759,000|
|7||The Imitation Game||$4,881,000 (-2.6)||$2,487||$74,740,000|
|8||The Wedding Ringer||$4,800,000 (-15.6)||$2,245||$55,100,000|
|9||Black or White||$4,520,000 (-27.3)||$2,479||$13,123,000|
|10||The Boy Next Door||$4,101,000 (-32.6)||$1,870||$30,850,000|
With an opening weekend of $56 million, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ shattered all expectations. Sure, the show is still going strong after 16 years (!) but it’s been a decade since these characters last had a big screen adventure. No one thought SpongeBob and his pals would still have box office clout. But here we are, one $56 million opening weekend later, and all of us who predicted that it would do fine at best now look like idiots. Since next weekend’s two big releases are both hard R-rated fare, expect this film to continue pulling in the family crowds and to keep on keeping on for the rest of the month.
Although SpongeBob did knock ‘American Sniper’ off its perch, don’t spill any tears for Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. In second place, the film made an excellent $24 million, bringing its current total to $282 million. Barring a disaster, it should overtake ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ in about two or three weeks to become the highest grossing film released in 2014. For an R-rated war drama, this is huge.
That brings us to the other two new releases of the week, both of which disappointed. However, everyone saw this coming. Both ‘Jupiter Ascending’ and ‘Seventh Son’ were delayed from their initial release date and both have had disaster written all over them for well over a year. ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ the better and weirder of the two films, opened with a poor $19 million, making it a ‘John Carter’-sized bomb. It’s strange enough to develop a fanbase in the years ahead, but it’s the kind of disaster that may strip away a lot of the Wachowskis’ lingering clout. With a dismal $7 million, ‘Seventh Son’ isn’t as awful because it didn’t cost quite as much (but it has far fewer fans).
While lots of kids dragged their parents to the new SpongeBob movie, ‘Paddington’ continued to perform quite well in fifth place, grossing $5 million for a $57 million total. ‘The Imitation Game’ also continued doing quietly remarkable business in seventh place, dropping a tiny 2% and bringing its total gross to $74 million. Even ‘The Wedding Ringer’ and ‘The Boy Next Door’ did decent (if not spectacular) business, with the latter about to vanish from theaters with over $30 million made on a $4 million budget.
As for everything else: meh. ‘Project Almanac’ and ‘Black or White’ aren’t hits, but they’re also not a total disaster. They’ll probably lose a little money, but they aren’t going to break any careers into tiny pieces. That is ‘Jupiter Ascending’s job this week.