Box Office: ‘The Spongebob Movie’ thrives out of water with a $56 million weekend

Spongebob has returned to the big screen and based on the box office this weekend he was sorrily missed.  

It's been 10 years since “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie” opened to $32 million, but the long awaited sequel, “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” debuted to a massive $56 million.  That's a huge win for Paramount Pictures who has been criticized for disappointing results recently for “Selma,” “Top Five” and “The Gambler.”  “Sponge Out of Water” cost a reported $74 million to make, but considering how strong the brand is across the world it should eventually be a nice hit for the studio.

Dropping to no. 2 was Clint Eastwood's “American Sniper.” The Best Picture contender earned another $24.1 million for a stunning $282.2 million to date. “Sniper” was down just  21.2% from the previous weekend and should cross the $300 million mark by next Sunday.

The Wachowskis' latest effort, “Jupiter Ascending,” arrived at no. 3 with $19 million.  That is below the pre-release polling which expected a $25 million plus debut, but overall negative reviews obviously took a toll.  At a cost of $175 million, “Jupiter” will need to be a monster overseas to come anywhere near break even.

Legendary Pictures has its own write down on its hands at no. 4 with “Seventh Son.” Originally intended to open in 2014, the Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore fantasy flick was delayed when Legendary segued its distribution deal from Warner Bros. to Universal Pictures. With just a $7 million opening, “Son” now joins “Mordecai” as one of the biggest bombs of the year.

“Paddington” survived the family film competition from “Spongebob” in fifth to earn another $5.3 million for $57.2 million so far.  The critically acclaimed live action CG animation hybrid has earned $208 million worldwide.

New films on Friday include “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”