Mr. Peabody & Sherman has defied expectations by claiming the box office number one spot in its second weekend of release. Dreamworks' animated children's comedy moved up from last weekend's second place to become the most-watched film of the week, with domestic box office takings of $21.2 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman
'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' Enjoys A Surprise Trip To The Top Of The Box Office.

The lively movie about a genius dog and his human son was held off last week's number one action fantasy movie, 300: Rise of an Empire. Zack Snyder's R-rated sequel was forced to settle for second best this week, taking $19.2 million. It seems that the initial excitement surrounding the follow-up to the highly-quotable 2006 film dissipated when critics began to file crushing reviews.

Watch The 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' Trailer:

That said, even Mr. Peabody & Sherman hasn't had the best reviews but the Rob Minkoff-directed adventure has the advantage of greater appeal that its age-restricted rival. What's more, parents who remembered the duo from the original sixties Rocky and Bullwinkle Show episodes may be keen to relive the education-based excitement and adult-friendly jokes of the cartoon.

Whilst Mr. Peabody isn't likely to enjoy the Earth-shaking success of recent releases Frozen and The Lego Movie, the film is proof that reboot of a recognisable franchise is worth a lot of money to Hollywood. Chris Aronson, Fox's president of domestic distribution concurs: "If anything, this is exceeding [expectations...] It's a combination of likable characters and it's a nostalgia play for those who are familiar with the show," he said, via the AP.

300: Rise Of An Empire
'300: Rise Of An Empire Failed To Conquer In Its Second Week.

Meanwhile, Aaron Paul's highly trumpeted driving movie Need For Speed had a disappointing performance in its first weekend, finding itself parked in third with $17.8 million. Liam Neeson's tense airline thriller Non-Stop held on to an admirable fourth place and Tyler Perry's critically-slammed The Single Mom's Club rounded out the top five movies this week.

Check out our cool snaps from the Mr. Peabody & Sherman premiere.

"A riotous animated adventure": read our 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' review.