Box office: There wasn’t much need for ‘Need for Speed’

Brainiac mutt Mr. Peabody and boy Sherman veered ahead of "Need for Speed." Credit: DreamWorks Animation
Brainiac mutt Mr. Peabody and boy Sherman veered ahead of “Need for Speed.”
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” won the weekend box office derby with $21.2 million in ticket sales, outpacing both last week’s winner “300: Rise of An Empire” and video game turned car racing movie “Need for Speed.”

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 estimates.

“Need for Speed” settled for third place on its opening weekend with ticket sales of $17.8 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

“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 million.

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 Brothers.

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.

“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 theaters.

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 platform Kickstarter.

“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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…