Warner Bros. and Legendary's highly stylised, ancient Greek epic "300: Rise of an Empire" is headed for a $40 million-plus domestic opening weekend following a very strong $16+ million take on Friday.
The R-rated fantasy-meets-history film is also off to a strong start overseas with $12.1 million from 31 markets in its first two days, taking the top spot in all but two of those markets and pacing 20% ahead of Zack Snyder's original 2007 film.
It won't come close to the record-breaking $70.9 million domestic opening weekend of the first film, but this is still seen as a strong start for the $110 million-budget follow-up that is expected to top DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" which also opens this week.
Reviews for 'Empire' are tracking slightly behind the first "300" which scored mixed reviews. 'Empire' managed a 47/100 Metacritic score compared to the first's 51/100, while its Rotten Tomatoes average score of 4.9/10 is definitely shy of the 6.1/10 for Zack Snyder's film.