As expected, Rise of an Empire's $17.7 million was significantly lower than the original movie's $28.1 million first day haul. Still, it's a noticeable improvement over similar March releases like 10,000 B.C. ($12.5 million) and Olympus Has Fallen ($10 million). If Rise of an Empire plays out like the first movie, it will earn over $44 million for the three-day weekend. Mr. Peabody & Sherman took second place with an estimated $8 million. In comparison, past DreamWorks Animation movies How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods opened to $12.1 million and $11.6 million, respectively. One bright spot, at least, is that Peabody seems to be connecting with audiences: the movie received a strong "A" CinemaScore. For the three-day frame, Peabody should wind up around $30 million. Non-Stop fell to third place with an estimated $4.7 million (down 53 percent). Through eight days, the Liam Neeson thriller has earned $41 million. Son of God plummeted 72 percent to $2.7 million. To date, the big-screen version of the History Channel's Bible mini-series has taken in $34.2 million.
Playing at just four theaters, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel opened to $260,000 yesterday. That translates to a remarkable per-theater average of $65,000; in comparison, Moonrise Kingdom averaged $43,082 on its first day. For the weekend, The Grand Budapest Hotel should average around $190,000, which would put it in the Top 10 all-time. Weekend Projections 1. 300 - $44 million 2. Mr. Peabody - $30 million 3. Non-Stop - $15 million 4. LEGO Movie - $11 million 5. Son of God - $10 million Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.