Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, March 12: '300' Brings in the Big Money

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Mar 12, 2007 | 5:19am EDT

The hyperstylized, ultraviolent ancient epic 300 debuted on top of the North American box office this weekend with a massive $70 million, making it 2007's first certified blockbuster.

According to the Associated Press. that's about $233,000 for every one of the legendary 300 Spartan soldiers who fought off a much larger Persian force in the ancient battle of Thermopylae.

"On a Spartan-by-Spartan basis, that's a lot of money," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers told AP. "Summer came a little early, because this is a summer-style opening."

Adapted from Frank Miller's graphic novel and directed by Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead), 300 stars Gerard Butler as Leonidas, king of the Greek city-state of Sparta, who leads his vastly outnumbered men against the Persian invaders. Heavy on violence, the R-rated movie wound up as the third-best debut ever for that rating, behind The Matrix Reloaded at $91.8 million and The Passion of the Christ at $83.8 million.

300 also pushed last weekend's champ, Wild Hogs, down to second place with $28 million. And in limited release, the immigrant drama The Namesake opened strongly with $250,762 in six theaters, averaging $41,794.

The Top 12 movies grossed $139.2 million over the weekend, up 49.14 percent from last year’s draw of $93.3 million and up 28.75 percent from last weekend’s total of $108.1 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Paramount’s Failure to Launch, which opened at No. 1 with $24.4 million in 3,057 theaters, averaging $7,985 per theater; Buena Vista’s The Shaggy Dog, which opened in second place with $16.3 million in 3,501 theaters, averaging $4,659 per theater; and Fox Searchlight’s The Hills Have Eyes, which opened in third place with $15.7 million in 3,122 theaters, averaging $5,996 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: 300 (Warner Bros., R)

• Gross: $70 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,103

• Per-theater average: $22,567

No. 2: Wild Hogs (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $28 million (-29%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,296 (+9)

• Per-theater average: $8,502

• Cume to date: $77.4 million

No. 3: Bridge to Terabithia (Buena Vista, PG)

• Gross: $6.86 million (-23%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 3,210 (+51)

• Per-theater average: $2,139

• Cume to date: $67 million

No. 4: Ghost Rider (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $6.8 million (-41%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 3,347 (-261)

• Per-theater average: $2,032

• Cume to date: $104.1 million

No. 5: Zodiac (Paramount, R)

• Gross: $6.7 million

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,379 (+17)

• Per-theater average: $2,847

• Cume to date: $23.7 million

No. 6: Norbit (Paramount, PG-13)

• Gross: $4.3 million (-33%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,505 (-322)

• Per-theater average: $1,722

• Cume to date: $88.3 million

No. 7: The Number 23 (New Line, R)

• Gross: $4.2 million (-35%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,489 (-270)

• Per-theater average: $1,687

• Cume to date: $30.3 million

No. 8: Music and Lyrics (Warner Bros., PG-13)

• Gross: $3.8 million (-22%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,280 (-364)

• Per-theater average: $1,680

• Cume to date: $43.8 million

No. 9: Breach (Universal, PG-13)

• Gross: $2.6 million (-28%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 1,505 (+7)

• Per-theater average: $1,735

• Cume to date: $29.1 million

No. 10: Amazing Grace (Sam Goldwyn, PG)

• Gross: $2.5 million (-11%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 1,000 (+209)

• Per-theater average: $2,525

• Cume to date: $11.4 million

OTHER OPENINGS

The Ultimate Gift (The Bigger Picture, PG)

• Gross: $1.2 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 816

• Per-theater average: $1,532

The Namesake (Fox Searchlight, PG-13)

• Gross: $250,764

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 6

• Per-theater average: $41,794

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