LOS ANGELES, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Warner's "300: Rise Of An Empire" rose to the top of the North American box office this weekend.
The Warner Bros.' sequel to Zack Snyder's "300" in 2007 collected 45.1 million U.S. dollars at 3,470 locations, according to studio estimates from Rentrak. The debut took in an estimated 6. 8 million dollars from 342 IMAX locations. That represented 15 percent of the film's total gross this weekend.
Though there is a gap of seven years between "300: Rise Of An Empire" and "300" which opened with more than 70 million dollars, this 100 million budget sequel based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and directed by Noam Murro told the battle between ancient Greek warriors and their Persian foes in the breathtaking visual style.
The film attracted mostly young men. More than 60 percent of audiences were male and under 35. It earned a "B" from audiences, according to Cinemascore. Only 43 percent of critics from Rotten Tomatoes gave the film thumbs-up.
"Mr. Peabody & Sherman", a 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation, opened in the second place with 32.5 million dollars at 3,934 locations. Being an adaptation of 1960s animated television characters, this film got strong reviews and 77 percent of critics recommended it according to Rotten Tomatoes. Also the movie received Cinemascore rating of "A" from moviegoers.
In third place, the Liam Neeson-led thriller "Non-Stop" took in an estimated 15.4 million in its second weekend, with a ten-day start of 52.1 million dollars.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as estimated by studios, were "The Lego Movie" (11 million dollars), "Son of God" (10 million), "Monuments Men" (3.1 million), "3 Days To Kill" (3.1 million), "Frozen"(3 million), "12 Years A Slave" (2.2 million) and "Ride Along" (2 million).