MOVIE / ESTIMATED WEEKEND GROSS (ACCORDING TO IMDB)

  1. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water / $56 million
  2. American Sniper / $24.2 million
  3. Jupiter Ascending / $19 million
  4. Seventh Son / $7.1 million
  5. Paddington / $5.4 million
  6. Project Almanac / $5.3 million
  7. The Imitation Game / $4.9 million
  8. The Wedding Ringer / $4.8 million
  9. Black of White / $4.5 million
  10. The Boy Next Door / $4.1 million

Box Office Mojo has reported that Spongebob has lost none of his celebrity status, despite a ten year absence from the big screen.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, heavily marketed as a full CGI adventure (despite it still being largely hand drawn animation), claimed the top spot at the box office with $56 million.  The $66 million film (as reported on IMDB) will recoup its budget by next weekend.

The film currently has a 7.1 IMDB User Rating (on par with The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie’s 7.0 User Rating) and a 75% Rotten Tomatoes score.

It’s not surprising that the film was clearly the victor this weekend.  The first weekend of February has proved to be a huge success for family friendly animated movies.  This time last year, The Lego Movie debuted to almost $70 million.  Furthermore, SpongeBob Squarepants and his Bikini Bottom gang are still going strong on TV.  The Nickelodeon characters have been around since 1999, and their success can be attributed to their mass appeal to kids, teens, and older adults alike.  Clearly the show has connected with a new generation of children.  We can expect a noticeably lower, but decent second weekend as The SpongeBob Movie and Paddington will be the only family oriented options available this Friday since the two high profile releases – Fifty Shades of Grey and Kingsman: The Secret Service – will be R-rated (18A and 14A in Canada).

The other two big releases this weekend bombed.  Jupiter Ascending couldn’t even muster second place, as it fell into third with a dismal $19 million.  Despite an aggressive marketing campaign on top of the star power of Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending follows Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas as the third straight flop by The Wachowskis.  Distributor Warner Bros will definitely be taking a hit on this one as there is no way it will come close to matching its $176 million budget with domestic sales.

jupiter ascending

Originally scheduled for a summer 2014 release, Warner Bros pushed the release date to February 2015 to work on the visual effects.  That move definitely lost audience confidence as February is still the industry’s annual dumping ground for crap.  The film was already a tough sell like Pacific Rim and Edge of Tomorrow as it was an original work not based on any familiar source material.  But the 22% Rotten Tomatoes score and 6.0 IMDB User Rating have certainly confirmed that audiences should clearly pass on a film they already suspected to be a waste of time.  The Wachowskis haven’t been able to win favour with critics or audiences since 2007’s V For Vendetta, which saw them in writing and producing roles along with star Natalie Portman at the height of her fame.  The siblings have not directed a well received film since The Matrix close to 16 years ago.

As expected, Seventh Son came into theatres with a wimper instead of a bang and couldn’t even crack $8 million in revenue.  The film had been plagued with production troubles, pushed back an entire year, and saw many actors as well as crew members drop out due to these troubles.  The trailers advertised a sloppily assembled B-movie, and audiences simply had no interest.  With its 10% Rotten Tomatoes score and 5.8 IMDB User Rating, there is a chance Seventh Son could gain cult status on video, but short term profitability is highly unlikely if not impossible.

seventh son

The box office performance for both Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son is made even more lackluster because both films had the advantage of 3D premium pricing.

Continuing to impress is American Sniper with a $24 million second place run.  Not only has Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper’s war epic become the second highest grossing R-rated movie ever, it has surpassed the grosses of all the other 2015 Best Picture nominees combined.  American Sniper is now the 3rd highest grossing movie of 2014, shaming blockbuster hopefuls Captain America: The Winter Solder, Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  This confirms one thing: American patriotism is still strong.  Box Office Mojo predicts that American Sniper could finish its domestic theatrical run with $350 million, which would make it the top grossing film of 2014.  Currently, Mockingjay Part 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy are #1 and #2 respectively.

american sniper

The rest of the top 10 are holdovers from previous weeks enjoying the final tallies before moving into other markets.  The Imitation Game is faring very well thanks to its star Benedict Cumberbatch and its incredible subject matter.  The film has grossed close to $140 million worldwide and won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival last September.

the imitation game

Variety reports that sales for this weekend increased by 10% from this time last year.  Despite The Lego Movie having a stronger opening weekend than The SpongeBob Movie, the holdovers from previous weeks have been strong enough to keep more butts in the seats.

Written by Edward Boxler

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