People in Brief

A scene from “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.”

NEW YORK — With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, what better way to get you in the mood than some of the world’s great love poems read aloud — for free?

Audible Inc., the world’s largest seller of downloadable audiobooks, is offering a 30-minute collection of some the most beloved love poems narrated by actor Richard Armitage, including “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare and Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.”

The 15 poems are now available as a free download.

The list includes “She Walks In Beauty” by Lord Byron, “How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Maud” by Lord Alfred Tennyson, “Bright Star” by John Keats, “Annabel Lee,” by Edgar Allan Poe, “I Carry Your Heart” by e.e. cummings and “Love’s Philosophy,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

“These are some of the most beautiful and most romantic verses ever written in the English language,” said Armitage, a stage and film actor who was in the “The Hobbit” trilogy.

NEW YORK — “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” finally unseated Clint Eastwood’s runaway hit “American Sniper” at the weekend box office, while a pair of high-priced fantasies flopped.

Paramount Pictures’ “SpongeBob Movie” earned $56 million in North America, a huge debut for the animated Nickelodeon big-screen transfer, according to estimates Sunday. That finally pushed “American Sniper” off the top spot after a three-week reign. The Navy SEAL drama took in $24.2 million in its fourth week of wide release.

The Wachowskis’ lavish science-fiction adventure “Jupiter Ascending” opened with just $19 million, a meager amount for a $175 million production.

Universal’s “Seventh Son,” a supernatural thriller set in medieval times, debuted with a scant $7.1 million. The film, produced by Legendary Pictures and starring Jeff Bridges, cost nearly $100 million to make.

That gave the box office a couple of lucrative hits and a pair of costly misses to lead the early February weekend.

Associated Press