Sunday Update: Thanks in part to the underwhelming start of Need for Speed, Mr. Peabody & Sherman was able to move into first place this weekend with an estimated $21.2 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was up one spot and down just 34 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 $63.18 million in ten days. That places the film 29 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 58 percent to place in a close second with an estimated $19.11 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 $78.31 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 $17.81 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 $6.64 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 $6.71 million and is estimated to decline 34 percent on Sunday to take in $4.45 million. That places the film's estimated 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 an estimated fifth place take of $8.3 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 48 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 $3.21 million on Friday, was up a slim 1 percent on Saturday to take in $3.23 million and is estimated to fall 42 percent on Sunday to gross $1.86 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a lackluster 2.59 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 an estimated $10.6 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 $68.79 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 an estimated $3.64 million from just 66 locations. That gave the Wes Anderson directed film an exceptional per-location average of $55,152 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.
Saturday Update: Disney reports that DreamWorks' Need for Speed earned a disappointing $6.64 million on Friday. BoxOffice projects an $18 million opening weekend from that figure.
Yesterday's gross includes Thursday's $1.1 million evening grosses, indicating some frontloading by fans of the video game franchise as we had expected yesterday. Early word of mouth isn't helping things either with a disappointing 69 percent Flixster score on top of a 23 percent grade from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the fact that the game series has sold over 140 million units worldwide, the $65 million production budget of the film means it will need some help from overseas markets to generate a profit theatrically.
The Single Moms Club delivered one of the lowest openings to-date for Tyler Perry as it earned a soft $3.2 million yesterday. That's noticeably off from the $9.4 million first day take of last March's Temptation. Word of mouth appears par for the course, though, with 75 percent of just over 17,000 Flixster users approving of or still anticipating the film. Perry's brand has waned a bit, particularly his non-Madea flicks. BoxOffice is projecting an opening weekend of $9.3 million.
Meanwhile, Mr. Peabody & Sherman took in another $5.45 million on its second Friday. BoxOffice is projecting the animated film will win the weekend with a projected $22 million. The animation's domestic total through 8 days of release is $47.4 million.
Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Need for Speed is on pace for a Friday haul of around $6 million. Unless evening business significantly picks up, the video game adaptation will fall short of a $20 million weekend based on early projections.
Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club is likewise falling short of expectations. The flick is looking at a Friday of around $3 million, meaning a weekend likely south of $10 million.
Meanwhile, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and 300: Rise of an Empire could bring around $5 million each today. Unless Need for Speed does pick up, Peabody will end up the likely weekend winner.
Friday Update #1: Sources report that Disney/DreamWorks' Need for Speed racked up $1.1 million in Thursday night grosses. That's a decent start to the weekend as it's in line with last year's Oblivion (which earned $1.1 million on Thursday evening) and slightly below Ender's Game ($1.4 million). It should be noted that Need for Speed's built-in fan base from the popular video game series creates the possibility for some front-loading despite the film's nature as a non-sequel.
Meanwhile, Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club looks to have brought in around $200,000 or less last night. That's a relatively soft start for Perry flicks.
Check back for early Friday projections later in the day.