The box office pundits and the industry experts said
that this weekend was going to be a toss up between 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr.
Peabody and Sherman
, and the victor was 300.

The film, which was originally scheduled to come out last
August until Warners pushed it back until this weekend, beat all the
competition with a surprising $45
. Though that doesn’t beat the $71
that the first 300 movie did in its opening weekend, back in 2007, it’s better than what was expected.

And the film did better than expected, considering that
Peabody and Sherman was supposed to give 300 a real battle for first place. However Peabody came in second with $32.5
which is still not a bad haul itself.

Evidently the first 300 still has its fervent admirers, and this time putting a female co-lead (Eva
) in the film, unlike the first film which had no women in major lead roles in it that I can recall, perhaps generated not only interest in the sequel among
300 geeks, but also with those who would have normally skipped the film.

Meanwhile Wes
Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel
broke box office records in its opening
limited release, earning an amazing $800,000
in only 4 theaters in N.Y. and L.A.

That’s 50% better than the limited
opening for Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise
, which went on to gross $45
domestically. Anderson’s highest grossing film to date. 

Hotel looks
pretty good to beat that record.

But the other question, following up on a piece I wrote
last week, is if there would be any signs of an “Oscar
for 12 Years A Slave? It
was too early to tell, just a few days after its Best Picture Oscar win, and that, perhaps we would have to wait until this weekend to find out the answer.

And the answer is yes.

Despite the fact that it comes out on DVD last week, 12
Years jumped back into the weekend top ten slot at No. 9 from last week’s
13th place, with $2,175,000,
an increase of 122% from last
weekend. With a total so far of $53
 the film is in line to reach my predicted $55 million domestic final total gross
for the film, which has earned $143
million worldwide to date.

1) 300: Rise of An Empire WB $45,050,000 
2) Mr. Peabody & Sherman Fox $32,500,000 
3) Non-Stop Uni. $15,378,000 Total: $52,117,000 
4) The LEGO Movie WB $11,005,000 Total: $224,974,000 
5) Son of God Fox $10,000,000 Total: $41,494,000
6) The Monuments Men Sony $3,100,000 Total: $70,602,000 
7) 3 Days to Kill Rela. $3,062,000 Total: $25,556,000 
8) Frozen BV $3,010,000 Total: $393,051,000 
9) 12 Years a Slave FoxS $2,175,000 Total: $53,107,000 
10) Ride Along Uni. $2,004,000 Total: $129,968,000 
11) RoboCop  Sony $2,000,000 Total: $54,746,000 
12) About Last Night  SGem $1,650,000 Total: $46,498,000