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'300' sequel rules at the box office

Monday, March 10, 2014 - Updated: 7:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- The shirtless warriors of the "300" sequel "Rise of an Empire" ravaged the post-Oscars box-office weekend with a domestic debut of $45.1 million but an even bigger international haul of $87.8 million.

Seven years after the original "300" became an unlikely, ultra-stylish, blood-soaked sensation, Warner Bros.' 3-D follow-up showed considerable might at the box office. While "300: Rise of an Empire" didn't come close the North American debut of Zack Snyder's 2007 original ($70.9 million and without the benefit of 3-D ticket prices), it performed like a blockbuster overseas.

"Rise of an Empire," which with flexed torsos and R-rated bloodshed further chronicles the ancient battles of the Greeks and Persians, led a busy box-office weekend that also saw an Academy Awards bump for "12 Years a Slave" and one of the highest per-screen averages ever for Wes Anderson's European caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Though "300: Rise of an Empire" is excessively macho, Eva Green -- the film's fiercest presence -- may have drawn females for what was always going to be a male-centric release. Whereas the female audience for the first "300" was only 29 percent, it was 38 percent for "Rise of an Empire."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included.

1. "300: Rise of an Empire," $45.1 million ($87.8 million international).

2. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," $32.5 million ($21 million international).

3. "Non-Stop," $15.4 million ($12 million international).

4. "The Lego Movie," $11 million ($9.9 million international).

5. "Son of God," $10 million.

6. "The Monuments Men," $3.1 million ($3.7 million international).

7. "3 Days to Kill," $3.1 million.

8. "Frozen," $3 million ($3.6 million international).

9. "12 Years a Slave," $2.2 million ($9.1 million international).

10. "Ride Along," $2 million ($1.8 million international).


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