It was not a good weekend to be a new movie in wide release at the box office. The world’s smartest animated dog took the lead this weekend and left Need for Speed in the dust, while Tyler Perry’s The Single Mom’s Club missed the mark and now has the dubious honor of being his lowest opening ever.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman came out on top in its second weekend in theaters with $21.2 million from 3,951 locations. The $145 million DreamWorks Animation pic dropped 34.2 percent from last week’s opening, putting its domestic total at $63.2 million. The real test will be how it stands up to Muppets Most Wanted next weekend — its first real new competition. That could be an indicator of its longterm theatrical legs.
Last week’s box office winner 300: Rise of an Empire placed second with an estimated $19.1 million from 3,490 locations. That’s down about 57.6 percent from its opening. The $110 million sword-and-sandals epic now boasts a $78.3 million domestic total for Warner Bros. and Legendary. The first film had made $130 million domestically by the close of its second weekend in theaters in 2007.
Need for Speed (B+ Cinema Score) failed to meet analyst expectations by a significant margin and opened in third with a disappointing $17.8 million from 3,115 locations. 3-D showings accounted for about 43 percent of the gross. Most predictions put the Aaron Paul-led pic in the mid-$20 million range. The audience skewed heavily male (70 percent), and about 56 percent of attendees were between the ages of 18 and 34. Internationally, the video game adaptation is faring much better. It opened in 40 territories, including Italy, the U.K., Brazil, Mexico, China, Russia and Australia and took in about $45.6 million ($21.2 million of which came from China). Disney’s Dave Hollis told EW: “Overall, having a $63 million weekend worldwide when the movie cost what it did — it cost $66 million — we’re off to a fine start. The domestic number is a little disappointing.”
The tracking agencies were counting on attendance from the youngest segment of the audience who did not, on the whole, end up turning out this weekend. Moviegoers aged 12 to 17 made up 13 percent of the audience. “They’ve been really — and not even for just this movie, but for the industry — the toughest audience segment to predict and the toughest to depend on following through because of distractions that exist in their space. We’re still trying to figure out how we’ll get them into theaters,” says Hollis. Distributor Disney is looking to the ones who did attend to spread the word about the film and hopes that spring break might see a domestic boost for the pic.
Liam Neeson’s thriller at 30,000 feet Non-Stop took fourth place with an estimated $10.6 million from 3,183 locations, bringing its domestic total to $68.8 million. Considering it’s the film’s third weekend in theaters and the fact that it has had to deal with significant new competition from flashy action newcomers like Need for Speed and the 300 sequel, the Joel Silver-produced pic is doing quite well.
Finally, Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club (A- Cinema Score) opened in fifth place with $8.3 million from 1,896 locations — a career low for Perry. The comedy follows five struggling single moms who find comfort in friendship and stars Nia Long, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown, and Wendi McLendon-Covey. A whopping 79 percent of the opening weekend audience was female and 80 percent was over 25 years old. Marketing focused heavily on reaching women, Latinos, and African-Americans, and put a particular emphasis on networks like OWN, but this is a sure miss for Perry. His previous lowest opener was 2007’s Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, which bowed at $11.2 million.
Here are the top 5:
1. Mr. Peabody and Sherman – $21.2 million
2. 300: Rise of an Empire – $19.1 million
3. Need for Speed – $17.81 million
4. Non-Stop — $10.6 million
5. Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club — $8.3 million
In the speciality box office world, Jason Bateman’s vulgar spelling bee comedy Bad Words took in $120K from six locations. The Grand Budapest Hotel expanded in its second weekend in theaters and earned approximately $3.64 million from 66 locations — an impressive $55.2K per theater average.