‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water’ Shoots Down ‘American Sniper’ For Top Box Office Spot


Three new movies had “American Sniper” and its reign at the box office in it sights, but it was “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water” that squeezed off the kill shot.

Paramount Pictures’ animated Nickelodeon movie earned an impressive $56 million in North America for its debut weekend, pushing Clint Eastwood’s Navy SEAL drama, which took in $24.2 million in its fourth week of wide release, off the top spot after three weeks at No. 1.

“This movie played a little bit older than we initially thought it would,” president of worldwide distribution and marketing for Paramount Megan Colligan told AP. “It’s a real tribute to Nickelodeon and the strength of the brand and how well they manage the brand. It’s a beloved character that teenagers love from their childhood.”

“Jupiter Ascending,” the Wachowski’s (“Matrix” trilogy) costly science-fiction adventure, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, rounds out the top three with $19 million. The $175 million film’s disappointing opening weekend was likely a result of countless reshoots, edits and Warner Bros. decision to push the movie’s release date from the summer to the first weekend in February.

“There’s no question, at its inception when the movie was greenlit, we had higher expectations than what the actual result is,” Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said. “At the end of the day, the Wachowskis are fine filmmakers. This one didn’t go quite as broadly as we all wanted, but they’ll find a film that will.”

Although Lana and Andy Wachowski’s latest flop will be costly, it’s not all bad for the studio. Warner Bros. can hang its hat on the success of the Oscar-nominated “American Sniper,” which is estimated to cross the $300 million mark over the next seven days.

Another big miss for the weekend was Universal’s “Seventh Son,” which debuted in fourth place with $7.1 million. The medieval supernatural thriller, which stars Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes, cost almost $100 million to produce.