LOS ANGELES (AFP) – “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” cleaned up at the North American box office this weekend, dethroning “American Sniper” in its first week of release, estimates showed Sunday.
The animated 3-D movie, in which the title character attempts to recover a stolen burger recipe, debuted with an estimated $56 million in ticket sales, said box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
“American Sniper,” relegated to second place, had $24.2 million in ticket sales as it finally fell from top spot.
Since its release, the highly acclaimed “Sniper” has raked in $282 million and a half-dozen Oscar nominations, including a best actor nod for Bradley Cooper in the title role.
“Jupiter Ascending” sold the third most tickets this week, with estimated box office receipts of $19 million in its opening weekend.
The fantasy flick pairs Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum and is a first foray into the genre for sibling directors Lana and Andy Wachowski since their work on “The Matrix” series.
“Seventh Son”, a 3-D fantasy-action film starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, debuted in fourth spot, earning $7.1 million.
“Paddington”, a big-screen adaptation of the family classic about a bear lost in the big city, took fifth with $5.4 million in ticket sales.
Another science-fiction tale, “Project Almanac”, earned $5.3 million for sixth place.
“The Imitation Game,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaking genius Alan Turing, took $4.9 million for seventh place, followed by “Black or White”, a racially charged drama starring Kevin Costner as a widowed grandfather battling to retain custody of his mixed-race granddaughter.
It grossed an estimated $4.52 million.
In ninth was comedy “The Wedding Ringer” with $4.5 million in receipts.
Jennifer Lopez’s steamy “The Boy Next Door”, in which the pop diva plays a divorcee who has an ill-advised affair with a very young male neighbour, came in 10th with $4.1 million.