By Daniel Garris
Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was up one spot and 6 percent over Wednesday to return to first place on Thursday with $1.53 million. The 3D animated live-action hybrid film exceeded expectations in a big way this week with a first place seven-day take of $63.13 million. That was 54 percent stronger than the $40.95 million seven-day start of 2004's The SpongeBob Square Pants Movie and just 21 percent behind the $80.30 million seven-day gross of last year's The LEGO Movie. With aid from the Presidents Day holiday, The SpongeBob Movie is likely to hold up very nicely over the weekend.
Warner's American Sniper was down one spot from Wednesday to land in second with $1.48 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down 41 percent from last Thursday. American Sniper placed in second for the week with $29.59 million. That represented a slim 28 percent decline from the previous frame and brings the film's current total to a massive $287.69 million after four weeks of wide release.
Fellow Warner Bros. release Jupiter Ascending held steady in third place with $0.903 million. The expensive 3D sci-fi film from The Wachowskis starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis was down a troubling 11 percent from Wednesday. Jupiter Ascending took third place for the week with a seven-day start of $23.12 million. That was very disappointing given the film's price tag and was just ahead of the $22.17 million seven-day take of 2008's Speed Racer.
Seventh Son continued to claim fourth place with $0.402 million. The long-delayed 3D fantasy film from Universal fell 10 percent from Wednesday. Seventh Son performed on the low end of its very modest expectations with a seven-day start of $9.27 million. That placed the film in fourth for the week and was 50 percent softer than the $18.49 million seven-day gross of 2013's R.I.P.D.