'Mr. Peabody' Moves into First with $21.8M; 'Need for Speed' Settles for Third with $17.8M

on March 17, 2014 by Daniel Garris

Thanks in part to the underwhelming start of Need for Speed, Mr. Peabody & Sherman was able to move into first place this weekend with $21.81 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was up one spot and down just 32 percent from last weekend's debut. In addition to being aided by strong word of mouth, Mr. Peabody & Sherman likely benefited a bit this weekend from initial demand for the film being deflated somewhat last weekend on the heels of the breakout performance of Warner's The LEGO Movie. Mr. Peabody & Sherman has grossed a respectable $63.79 million in ten days. That places the film 28 percent behind the $88.89 million ten-day start of last year's The Croods (which fell 39 percent in its second weekend to gross $26.71 million).

Last weekend's top film, Warner's 300: Rise of an Empire, was down one spot and 57 percent to place in a close second with $19.20 million. While the high-profile action sequel didn't have the greatest second weekend hold, it didn't fall off the map either, especially given the new direct competition it faced from Need for Speed. 300: Rise of an Empire has grossed a strong $78.41 million in ten days. That places the film 39 percent behind the $129.17 million ten-day start of 2007's 300 (which fell 54 percent in its second weekend to gross $32.88 million) and 34 percent ahead of the $58.61 million ten-day gross of 2012's Wrath of the Titans (which fell 56 percent in its second weekend to gross $14.73 million).

Need for Speed opened below expectations with an estimated $17.84 million. The video game based action film from Disney and DreamWorks had been widely expected to slightly outpace Mr. Peabody & Sherman and 300: Rise of an Empire in a close three-way race for first place this weekend, but ultimately had to settle for third place. Unlike 300: Rise of an Empire, Need for Speed appears to have failed to expand its appeal beyond its built-in fanbase. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Need for Speed opened in the same neighborhood as a pair of 2008 releases: Speed Racer (which debuted with $18.56 million) and Max Payne (which opened with $17.64 million). It should be noted that Need for Speed was off to a much stronger start overseas (with $45.6 million), a factor which likely inflated various online activity levels for the film heading into the weekend.

Need for Speed took in $6.66 million on Friday (which included a fairly front-loaded Thursday night start of $1.1 million), increased a slim 1 percent on Saturday to gross $6.73 million and declined 34 percent on Sunday to take in $4.45 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.68 to 1. The film received a respectable B+ rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Need for Speed skewed heavily towards male moviegoers (70 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (55 percent). 3D grosses represented 43 percent of the film's overall grosses this weekend.

Fellow new wide release Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club was off to an even rougher start this weekend with a fifth place take of $8.08 million. The latest Tyler Perry directed film from Lionsgate had been widely expected to open in the mid-teens. Instead, The Single Moms Club delivered the lowest debut ever for a Tyler Perry directed film. Perry's previous low-mark as a director was the $11.21 million opening weekend of 2007's Daddy's Little Girls (with that performance being deflated by a Wednesday opening). The Single Moms Club opened 49.5 percent below the already lackluster $16.01 million start of A Madea Christmas back in December; but unlike that film, The Single Moms Club won't have the benefit of the holiday season to help out holding power.

The Single Moms Club grossed $3.22 million on Friday, was essentially unchanged on Saturday with $3.23 million and fell 50 percent on Sunday to gross $1.63 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a discouraging 2.51 to 1. The film did receive an A- rating on CinemaScore, though that is unlikely to mean much going forward given the typically front-loaded nature of Perry's films. The audience breakdown for The Single Moms Club skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (79 percent) and moviegoers 25 years and older (80 percent).

Universal's Non-Stop placed in fourth with $10.62 million. The action thriller starring Liam Neeson stabilized nicely this weekend, as it was down just 33 percent from last weekend. Non-Stop has grossed $68.81 million through 17 days of release. That is on the very high end of expectations and already represents a higher gross than the $63.69 million final domestic take of 2011's Unknown. Non-Stop is currently running 30 percent ahead of the $53.03 million 17-day gross of Unknown.

On the platform front, Fox Searchlight's The Grand Budapest Hotel remained on fire with $3.64 million from just 66 locations. That gave the Wes Anderson directed film an exceptional per-location average of $55,122 for the frame. The Grand Budapest Hotel ranked in eighth place among all films this weekend. The Grand Budapest Hotel has grossed $4.78 million in ten days of platform release and is in terrific shape to hold up well as it continues to expand into additional locations going forward.

Tags: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Non-Stop, Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club, Need for Speed, 300: Rise of an Empire, Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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