Diverse weekend releases usher in new season of films

With the Academy Awards last weekend, a new season of films has officially begun. March should bring more new releases each weekend than January and February, which are typically slow months for theaters because of the awards season.

This weekend has three nationwide releases, all playing to very different audiences. 300: Rise of an Empire should capture the male demographic, while Mr. Peabody & Sherman will replace The Lego Movie’s as the dominant family flick. Wes Anderson’s quirky film The Grand Budapest Hotel will play to a more artsy crowd, attracting not only art film fans but fans of the film’s ensemble cast.

300: Rise of an Empire is a continuation to the story in 2007’s 300 and is based on Frank Miller’s still unreleased graphic novel Xerxes, which focuses on the Battle of Artemisium. Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green play the main protagonists of the film, but there will still be some familiar faces from the first film, such as Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes and Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo.

While the film has received mostly mixed reviews, the fanbase for the original film, which can be considered a cult classic, will bring audiences to the theater this weekend. Fans should expect this installment to be just as gory and violent as its predecessor. Look for it to be at the top of the box office this weekend.

The second nationwide release, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, looks to also garner large audiences.  Starring Ty Burrell, Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann, among other notable actors, the film has received many positive reviews. Based on the characters that originated from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, it tells the story of how the smartest dog in the world’s time machine launches him and his adopted boy on an outrageous adventure. The film should appeal to audiences from any age demographic. It should also perform very well this weekend.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the newest Wes Anderson film to grace theaters. It features a star-studded cast including the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Jeff Goldblum. His last film, 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom, was nominated for an Academy Award, which has only helped increase his immense fanbase. It might be a turnoff to most blockbuster fans, but should still attract a decent crowd.