By Justin Worland
February 8, 2015

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water earned an estimated $52 million in theaters over its opening weekend, easily enough to finish atop the domestic box office.

The animated Nickelodeon-Paramount joint venture based on the popular animated series unseated American Sniper, which brought in $23 million in its fourth week of wide release, as the top earner. Oscar contender American Sniper now has total domestic earnings that are expected to exceed $280 million.

Other big budget new releases, Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son, fared poorly in a field that was unusually crowded for early February.

Jupiter Ascending, a $150-million science fiction epic from the directors of The Matrix, is expected to earn less than $20 million. Seventh Sun, a $95-million film starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore is expected to earn less than $6 million.

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