The animated "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which opened a week
earlier in the No. 2 spot, overtook last week's winner, the
Greek-era action film "300: Rise of an Empire" which collected
$19.1 million from Friday to Sunday, according to studio
"Need for Speed" settled for third place on its opening weekend
with ticket sales of $17.8 million at U.S. and Canadian
"Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club," the weekend's other new
movie, was fifth behind "Non-Stop," selling $8.3 million worth
of tickets. The Liam Neeson airliner thriller made $10.6
The stunt-filled "Need for Speed," starring Aaron Paul of the
AMC television series "Breaking Bad," had hoped to capitalize on
the video game franchise's appeal to a young audience, but fell
short of Hollywood's forecast of a $22 million-to-$25 million
opening weekend. Paul stars as a street racer who seeks revenge
after being framed for the death of a close friend.
"The tracking had shown the younger audience was as hot as could
be," said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of film
distribution at Walt Disney Studios, which released the film
produced by Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks studio.
"So when they didn't show, yes it leaves us disappointed," said
Hollis. "But the good news is the folks who did come really
liked it," he noted, citing moviegoer polls, and adding that the
studio was hopeful that strong word of mouth with approaching
school and Easter holidays would stoke the box office.
The film, which cost about $66 million, took in about $63
million globally during its opening, Hollis said.
"Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which features the talking dog Mr.
Peabody and his adopted boy, Sherman, is the latest animated
film from Hollywood to enjoy a strong audience reception
following Disney's "Frozen" and "The Lego Movie" from Warner
The film, based on the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments
in the 1960s animated TV show starring the characters Rocky and
Bullwinkle, has taken in more than $63 million since its opening
on March 7 and had the relatively unusual experience of moving up into the top box office spot on a weekend other
than its opening one.
[to top of second column]
"300: Rise of an Empire," a blood-splattered sequel to the 2006
blockbuster "300" about the war between Greeks and Persians, has
generated $78 million since its March 7 opening, according to box
office tracking service Rentrak.
The film, based on a graphic novel by author Frank Miller and
produced by Legendary Pictures, stars Australian actor Sullivan
Stapleton as the Greek leader Themistocles and French actress and
model Eva Green as the ruthless commander of the Persian forces. It
added another $41 million this weekend in foreign markets.
In a limited run, "Veronica Mars," starring Kristen Bell in a film
adaption of the TV series that ran on the UPN and The CW networks
from 2004 to 2007, collected ticket sales of $2 million at 291
The film was financed with $5.7 million in contributions from more
than 91,000 fans of the show who responded to pleas from Kirsten
Bell and the show's creator Rob Thomas through crowdsourcing
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson's whimsical caper film
starring Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, continued to
chalk up impressive ticket sales with $3.6 million at just 66
theaters. Last week it set an industry record $200,000 per screen
average over three days playing in only four theaters.
Walt Disney distributed "Need for Speed." Warner Brothers, a unit of
Time Warner, distributed "300: Rise of an Empire," "The Lego Movie"
and "Veronica Mars."
Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox, distributed "Son of God,"
and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman." "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was
distributed by Fox Searchlight, a unit of Fox.
Lionsgate released "Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club."
(Reporting by Ronald Grover and Chris
Michaud; editing by Rosalind Russell)
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