‘SpongeBob’ takes down ‘American Sniper’

Box Office: The animated 3-D movie debuted with $55.4 million in ticket sales

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“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” cleaned up at the North American box office this weekend, dethroning “American Sniper” in its first week of release, data showed Monday.

The animated 3-D movie, in which the title character attempts to recover a stolen burger recipe, debuted with $55.4 million in ticket sales, said box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

“American Sniper,” relegated to second place, had $23.3 million in ticket sales as it finally fell from top spot.

Since its release, the highly acclaimed “Sniper” has raked in $281.4 million and a half-dozen Oscar nominations, including a best actor nod for Bradley Cooper in the title role.

“Jupiter Ascending” sold the third most tickets this week, with a disappointing $18.4 million in its opening weekend.

The fantasy flick pairs Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum and is a first foray into the genre for sibling directors Lana and Andy Wachowski since their work on “The Matrix” series.

“Seventh Son,” a 3-D fantasy-action film starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, debuted in fourth spot, earning $7.2 million.

Another science-fiction tale, “Project Almanac,” took fifth with $5.23 million in ticket sales.

“Paddington,” a big-screen adaptation of the family classic about a bear lost in the big city, earned a whisker less for sixth place on $5.22 million.

Comedy “The Wedding Ringer” took $4.72 million for seventh place, followed by “The Imitation Game,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as code breaking genius Alan Turing, on $4.69 million for eighth spot.

“Black or White,” a racially charged drama starring Kevin Costner as a widowed grandfather battling to retain custody of his mixed-race granddaughter, was in ninth with $4.5 million.

Jennifer Lopez’s steamy “The Boy Next Door,” in which the pop diva plays a divorcee who has an ill-advised affair with a very young male neighbor, came in 10th with $4.1 million.

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