OPENING IN FILM: Funny from a cartoon, drama from a graphic novel
by Mark Bialczak - Thursday, March 6th, 2014

‘Mr. Peobody & Sherman’ stars a talking dog; ’300: Rise on an Empire’ features big Greek war

Opening opportunities this weekend include a movie from a cartoon and a movie from a graphic novel.

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and “300: Rise of an Empire” should do very fine job of distinguishing between the two mediums.

The animated comedy features the antics of a very smart dog and the boy he adopted. Directed by Rob Minkoff and written by Jay Ward based on the popular series of Craig Wright, the antics of Mr. Peabody and Sherman are taken to the time-traveling machine extreme in this one.

The trailer shows the smarmy canine and his bewildered companion Sherman trying to right a wrong they started when they went back in history.

This odd but fun pair got their start way, way back in the 1950s and ’60s, as characters in Ward’s cartoons that were featured on the popular kids show “Rocky and His Friends.” You don’t need a time machine to go that far back. Just talk to me.

The star voices include Ty Burrell, the oft-bewildered dad on sit-com “Modern Family,” as Mr. Peabody, and Max Charles, a kid voice on “Family Guy,” as Sherman.

“300: Rise of an Empire,” on the other hand, takes a dramatic look at Greek history.

The follow-up to 2007 movie “300″ is written and produced by Zack Snyder, who wrote and directed that original. This one is directed by Noam Murro.

The trailer shows a roiling tumultuous time as General Themistokles directs an army to fend off invading Persian forces, particularly Xerxes and Artemisia. Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Lena Headey star.

Box office report

Two openers last week topped the weekend gross charts, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Drama in a jet for Liam Neeson and a plane full narrowly won out of the story of Jesus of Nazareth.

“Non-Stop” stood at No. 1 for the weekend, with a gross of $28.87 million.

“Son of God” was second, with a gross of $25.60 million.

That says lots about America today, you think?

The other opener, “Stalingrad: The IMAX 3D Experience,” on the other hand, did not draw many World War II buffs out to witness the historic battle with the new technology. It opened at No. 23, grossing $510,000.