It wasn't the big-budget Wachowski film Jupiter Ascending that won the box office this weekend, nor was it the fantasy epic Seventh Son. Nope, the honor goes to a very familiar sponge. You know him and you love him. And everyone seems to love SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water. The animated comedy took in $56 million this weekend, unseating American Sniper from its long reign and doing surprisingly well overseas as well.
For big-budget fantasy epics, not such good news. Andy and Lana Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending opened with only $19 million this weekend, despite the seemingly infallible draw of Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. On a different level of fame, but with a lot of appeal were Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, who failed to bring in viewers to Seventh Son, which only earned $7.1 million.
While SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water might seem like the most lowbrow choice of the three big debuts, it's by far received the best reviews from critics. While reviewers criticized Jupiter Ascending for putting special effects over plot and Seventh Son for being just plain boring, SpongeBob has been lauded for its humor, cleverness, and faithfulness to the beloved Nickelodeon franchise.
It seems that this weekend, viewers were looking for pure escapism, but they only needed to travel to Bikini Bottom, not outer space. Let's just see how SpongeBob does against the very different kind of escapism of Fifty Shades of Gray next weekend.