New in Theaters: '300: Rise of an Empire,' 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman'

300: Rise of an Empire

Rather than the overall cinematic disappointment of the two previous weekends, this batch of new releases offers something a little better—a mixed bag. There is one certified “fresh” release, so that’s something, at least.

Our first new release, 300: Rise of an Empire, is not that release, unfortunately. Based on the same graphic novel series as 300, and occurring around the same time chronologically, it is based on an actual historical battle (again, like 300), the Battle of Salamis, where an Athenian politician and general, Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), led a united Greek fleet against the previous film’s antagonist, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), Artemisia (Eva Green), and a massive Persian fleet.

Despite the promise of the premise, the film did not score well with critics, earning only 44% from Rotten Tomatoes. The film retains all of the violence of the predecessor, without any of the novelty to justify it. The Box Office Guru predicts an opening-weekend gross of $33 million.

Our other new release is a nostalgia trip for fans of ‘60s cartoons: Dreamworks’ Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The famous Renaissance—dog, I suppose—is voiced by Ty Burrell, and along with his boy companion, Sherman (Max Charles), they engage in temporal shenanigans when Mr. Peabody’s time machine sends them careening throughout history.

This film was much better received by critics, receiving a 77% on the Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not exactly cinema gold, but it provides an interesting take on a classic that’s entertaining enough to make the film worth watching. It’s predicted to earn around $31 million this weekend.

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