More than a decade after the last time a SpongeBob SquarePants movie was in theaters, the asexual underwater burger flipper and friends have succeeded where time-traveling teens, Johnny Depp’s mustache, and muscular computer nerd Chris Hemsworth all failed. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water wiped the floor with the competition this weekend, absorbing $56 million in movie-goers’ money and knocking American Sniper out of its No. 1 position at the box office.
This impressive showing puts Sponge Out Of Water fifth on the list of all-time best February openings, proving, like The Lego Movie before it, that parents desperately need something to keep the kids occupied on snow days as well as during summer vacation. That’s still nothing compared to American Sniper, however, which took the No. 2 spot this week and is now on track to become the second-highest grossing R-rated movie of all time after The Passion Of The Christ. We’ll see how patriotism and faith fare next to 27-year-old telecommunications tycoons with a paperwork fetish, however, when 50 Shades Of Grey opens next weekend.
But America’s tolerance for fantastic minimum-wage workers only goes so far, apparently, as the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending came in a distant No. 3 with $19 million. Considering the long-delayed space opera cost a reported $179 million to make (not to mention the tens of millions spent marketing the film), it’s going to be very difficult for Warner Bros. to avoid losing tons of money on Jupiter Ascending. This is bad news for fans of the Wachowskis and of original sci-fi in general, as the failure of Jupiter Ascending may not only affect the Wachowskis’ ability to make big-budget studio movies, but will also cause already risk-adverse executives to flee further into the cash-lined embrace of sequels and remakes.
Speaking of long-delayed flops, Seventh Son, the Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore fantasy best described as “the other movie that came out this week,” also underperformed, taking the No. 4 spot with $7 million.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.