“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” soaked up a massive $56 million at the weekend box office, leaving little for two other new releases, “Jupiter Ascending” and “Seventh Son,” both of which flopped.
“Jupiter Ascending,” an ambitious science-fiction fantasy from Andy and Lana Wachowski, eked out $19 million from 3,181 theaters, making it the “Matrix” siblings’ third consecutive fizzle after “Cloud Atlas” and “Speed Racer.” The film stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis and cost a massive $179 million to produce. It was originally scheduled to open in July, but was pushed back to accommodate for its complex special effects works. Village Roadshow co-financed the film.
Males were “Jupiter’s” core audience, comprising 57% of ticket-buyers, while the opening crowd was 82% over the age of 25.
Legendary’s action epic “Seventh Son” made even less of a stir, pulling in a paltry $7.1 million weekend from 2,875 locations. Universal distributed the $95 million production, which stars Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges. It’s shaping up to be a very rough start to the year for Legendary after being forced to take a $90 million writedown on Michael Mann’s cyber thriller “Blackhat.”
Legendary tried to stem some of the bleeding by opening “Seventh Son” overseas weeks in advance of its U.S. debut. It has picked up $86 million from major foreign markets such as China and Russia.
Warner Bros.’ “American Sniper,” continued to be a juggernaut, earning $24.2 million in its fourth week of wide release. The biopic about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has earned $282.3 million domestically, making it the third-highest grossing 2014 release stateside, behind “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“The SpongeBob Movie” benefitted from a lack of compelling family product. The $74 million production trumped the first “SpongeBob” film’s 2004 debut — that picture kicked off to $32 million en route to an $85.4 million domestic haul.It debuted across 3,641 North American theaters.
In fifth place, The Weinstein Company’s “Paddington” brought in $5.4 million, pushing its total after four weeks to more than $57 million.
Next weekend brings the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the best-selling phenomenon that’s expected to be the rare sexually charged film to succeed at the box office.