After three record-trouncing weeks in first place, American Sniper will be overcome by superior box office fire power this weekend. So who had the sand to take down Clint Eastwood? That would be SpongeBob SquarePants, the infamous pineapple-dwelling star of Nickelodeon’s long-running animated series. More than a decade after his first full-length feature, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, hit theatres, SpongeBob and Patrick are back – and looking surprisingly potent for cartoons of their advanced age.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened with an estimated $15 million from 3,641 locations on Friday. That points to a three-day debut in the $50 million range – about $20 million higher than initial projections. In comparison, the first SpongeBob movie opened in November 2004 with $32 million, or about what Paramount was expecting from its ‘sequel’ this weekend. Instead, Sponge Out of Water is likely to double the $25.7 million that Penguins of Madagascar earned over Thanksgiving weekend and could even get close to the $56.2 million debut of Disney’s Big Hero 6.
The prospects for this weekend’s two other new releases are not nearly as bright. Jupiter Ascending, the latest sci-fi epic from The Wachowski siblings, took in $6.3 million from 3,181 locations on Friday. That means that Warner Bros.’ hopes for a $22 million-plus opening are now most likely out of reach. Jupiter Ascending could hit $18 million through Sunday. On a positive note, that would at least double the debut of The Wachowski’s 2012 cosmic stumble Cloud Atlas.
Like Jupiter Ascending, the weekend’s final new release also falls in the fantasy genre. But unlike Jupiter Ascending, Universal’s Seventh Son doesn’t have a big name director (not to mention stars like Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis) to attract audiences. From 2,875 locations, Seventh Son took in an estimated $2.3 million on Friday. That’s less than The Legend of Hercules earned on its opening day last January and means that Seventh Son will not even reach its extremely modest goal of $10 million this weekend.
Check back tomorrow for complete box office coverage.
|1.||The SpongeBob Movie||$15,070,000||$15|