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Weekend Estimates: SpongeBob Soaks Up $56 Million

February 8th, 2015

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water poster

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is wiping out the competition this weekend with a dramatic $56 million debut, enough to give it the 5th biggest weeked in February, with a chance of 4th place if it does well today. After the success of The LEGO Movie this weekend last year, there’s a good bet we’ll be seeing the first weekend in February becoming a regular landing spot for animated films. (Perhaps The Nut Job 2 will move back a few weeks next year in response?)

SpongeBob’s opening is an improvement over the $32 million enjoyed by SpongeBob Squarepants: The Movie back in 2004, which translates into $42 million or so when adjusted for inflation. The first movie in the franchise also had the advantage of a mid-November release date, making this weekend’s performance all the more impressive. This may be a case where waiting ten years actually helped the performance of the new movie. Tempting as it may be to get started on SpongeBob 3 right away, perhaps this is a case of a long delay between movies helping more than hurting.

This weekend’s other openers performed about as well as expected. Which is to say, not very well at all. Jupiter Ascending will limp to a $19 million debut, which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t cost $150 million to make. Seventh Son did even worse on that front, with $7.1 million on a $95 million production budget. Both films will cause major write-offs for the studios involved (Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow in the first instance, Universal and Legendary Pictures in the second).

The wreckage among the openers allows American Sniper to enjoy second place this weekend, with $24.2 million added to a total that now sits at $282.2 million.

In limited release, two new releases stand out. Old Fashioned, a conscious piece of Christian counter-programming to Fifty Shades of Grey will start out with around $40,000 in three locations before expanding next weekend; documentary Ballet 422 will hit around $26,000 in two venues.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash, bruce.nash@the-numbers.com

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Seventh Son, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Jupiter Ascending, Fifty Shades of Grey, Ballet 422, American Sniper, Old Fashioned