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"300: Rise of an Empire" cut down its competition at the box office this weekend, handily defeating second place finisher "Mr. Peabody and Sherman." The stylistic and bloody follow-up to 2007 hit "300" earned $45.1 million, while the animated offering took in $32.5 million.
Although "Rise of an Empire" was No. 1 at the box office, it falls a bit short of its predecessor's opening weekend earnings of $70.8 million. The film stars "Casino Royale's" Eva Green and "Game of Thrones" Lena Headey. Rodrigo Santoro reprises his role as the fearsome Xerxes, who rules the Persian forces.
"Mr. Peabody" is based on characters who originally appeared on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" and featured the voice talents of Stephen Colbert, Mel Brooks and Ty Burrell, among others.
Meanwhile, Wes Anderson's indie film "The Grand Budapest Hotel" starring Ralph Fiennes made actual box-office history. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film earned the top location average of all time for a live-action title. It opened in just four theaters, and earned $800,000, a per-theater average of $200,000.
Last week's topper, the Liam Neeson action thriller "Non-Stop," dropped to third place with $15.4 million. The No. 2 film from last week, "Son of God," fell 61 percent to No. 5 in its second weekend, earning $10 million. "The Lego Movie" finished at No. 4 with $11 million, but has earned $225 million in five weeks.
Meanwhile, some films saw a post-Oscar win surge. "12 Years a Slave," which earned the Academy Award for best picture, expanded into more than 1,000 theaters and earned $2.2 million, a 123 percent leap from the previous week. And fellow Oscar-winners "Gravity" and "Dallas Buyers Club" saw bumps in their domestic box office, too, earning $900,000 and $637,000 respectively.