300 … and 70 Million Dollars!


The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

Director Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s epic graphic novel 300 set a new March record with an estimated opening of $70 million from 3,103 locations. Starring Gerard Butler as King Leonidas who leads the Spartans against the massive Persian army, the movie surpassed previous March record holder Ice Age: The Meltdown, which collected $68 million its first weekend last year. Budgeted in the mid-$60 million range, the Warner Bros. release also marks the third-highest debut ever for an R-rated movie, trailing just The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million) and The Passion of The Christ ($83.8 million). It is now also the top opening of 2007 so far, beating Ghost Rider‘s $45.4 million from February.

Touchstone’s Wild Hogs dropped a spot and just 29.4% in ticket sales for an impressive second weekend of $28 million. The comedy, starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, has reached $77.4 million.

In third, Disney’s family fantasy Bridge to Terabithia climbed a spot and added $6.9 million for a total of $67 million after four weeks.

Sony’s Ghost Rider, with Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, made $6.8 million in its fourth weekend and has earned $104.1 million domestically so far.

David Fincher’s crime thriller Zodiac rounded out the top five with $6.77 million. The Paramount film has collected $23.7 million in two weeks.

Jim Carrey’s The Number 23 and Eddie Murphy’s Norbit took the sixth and seventh spots, earning $4.33 million and $4.31 million, respectively. The former is at $30.5 million after three weeks and the latter at $88.3 million after five weeks.

The only other movie opening in wide release was the Fox Faith drama The Ultimate Gift, which garnered $1.2 million from 797 theaters, good for 13th place.

In limited release, Bong Joon-ho’s monster movie The Host took in $320,000 from 71 theaters, an average of $4,507, while Mira Nair’s The Namesake earned $251,000 from six theaters, a strong average of $41,833.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.