‘SpongeBob' Movie Tops U.S. Box Office, Unseats ‘American Sniper’

11:18 PM EST 2/13/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Who would have thought that an animated spinoff of a children's cartoon could finish atop the domestic box office with no trouble at all?

 It sounds like a nasty joke to big-time movie bosses, but it's true. The SpongeBob Movie : Sponge Out Water - the sequel to the Nickelodeon spinoff which was released in 2004, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie - garnered an estimated $52 million in theatres over the weekend in ticket sales, easily dethroning American Sniper from its number one spot, which earned $23 million in its fourth week of release.

The Oscar competitor now has a total of over $280 million for its domestic earnings (in the US and Canada) and presumably more than $316 million worldwide. Dubbed as the most successful war movie of all time, American Sniper stars Hangover star Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, known as the most deadly sniper in US history who was shot dead in 2013 at a Texas gun range. The movie has attracted controversy and garnered a divided reception among viewers and critics worldwide toward its subject, as well as to war and American outlook on Islam.

The new blockbuster-topper, on the other hand, features a shorts-clad sea sponge attempting to recover a secret recipe from a pirate played by Antonio Banderas.

According to Megan Collegian, the president of worldwide distribution for Paramount Pictures: "The reviews were really excellent, including from some serious, touch critics." Its blockbuster win was also thanks in large part to older teenagers, Collegian further said, by "cool adults who have embraced the character since they were kids and have never let him go."

Needless to say, the SpongeBob film managed to top expectations, earning a likely first-week figure of $35 million. The animated movie, which cost $73 million, took in $27 million from its international audience plus a $56 million in the US, a global total of $83 million.

 Its other blockbuster contender, the sci-fi adventure Jupiter Ascending - starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum - on the other hand, landed in third place with its $19 million ticket earnings. The $175 million movie - from the Matrix directors Andy and Lana Wachowski, received mixed reviews.

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