11 March 2014 8:55 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Togas-to-go and abs to die for atop the UK box office, while Grand Budapest Hotel books in a surprise third

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The winner

Seven years after the original 300 film, and with Gerard Butler's slain character missing this time around, it was by no means certain that audiences had an appetite for second helpings. But backers Warners and Legendary Pictures will be plenty happy with the opening numbers for 300: Rise of an Empire in the Us and internationally. In the UK, the film, from director Noam Murro (Smart People) and starring Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), achieved a robust £2.76m debut. While that's well down on 300's opening salvo – £4.75m including previews of £784,000 – it's not bad for a film that seemed short of marketable elements other than the 300 brand name.

Rise of an Empire knocked The Lego Movie off the top spot after a three-week run. »

- Charles Gant

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