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March 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In 2012 Wes Anderson’s quirky film Moonrise Kingdom averaged an impressive $130,749 per theater over its opening weekend in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. That turned out to be the second-highest per-theater opening of any film released that year, behind only the $147,262 debut of The Master. Well, filmmakers are going to have to go a long way to beat Anderson’s take for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened this weekend. The film, which also opened in four theaters in New York and L.A., brought in more than $200,000 per theater, according to the studio’s estimate. (Final figures will be released on Monday.) That could hand it the record for the biggest per-theater debut for an independent film and would put it among the top ten among all films. By contrast, Warner Bros.’ 300: Rise of an Empire opened at No. 1 this weekend with an estimated $45.05 million in 3,470 theaters, or an average of $13,000 per theater. (Its per-theater average was actually inflated by ticket sales that included 3D and IMAX surcharges, which accounted for more than three-quarters of the total.) In second place was DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which opened below most forecasts with a nevertheless decent $32.5 million or $8,300 per theater. Universal’s Non-Stop, which led in its debut last week, fell to third place with $15.38 million, followed in fourth place by The Lego Movie, which collected $11.01 million. But Son of God, without the continued support of church groups, plunged 61 percent in its second week to $10 million, winding up in fifth place. Remaining in the top ten in its 15th week — at eighth place — was Disney’s Frozen, which dropped a tiny 17 percent from the previous weekend as it earned 3.01 million, to bring its domestic total to $393.01 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Rentrak:
1. 300: Rise of an Empire, $45.1 million; 2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman, $32.5 million; 3. Non-Stop, $15.4 million; 4. The Lego Movie, $11 million; 5. Son of God, $10 million; 6. The Monuments Men, $3.1 million; 7. 3 Days to Killl, $3.1 million; 8. Frozen, $3 million; 9. 12 Years a Slave, $2.2 million; 10. Ride Along, $2 million.