Box Office Results: Moviegoers Have No Need for Speed… or Tyler Perry

Midway through the third month of the year and moviegoers continued to let the studios know that just because they have some shiny new movie being released on Friday, that doesn’t mean they’ll rush out to see them over movies already in theaters that they’ve heard good things about. After a couple of weeks of new movies taking the #1 slot, there was a serious shift as neither of the two new movies were able to beat last week’s top 2 movies.

Probably the biggest shocker of the weekend box office was seeing DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox), which opened relatively weakly compared to the animation studio’s previous films, do enough business in its second weekend to move into first place with $21.2 million. Down just 34% from its opening weekend, the updated version of the ’60s cartoon has now grossed $63.2 million in its first ten days. While it should continue to fare well due to schools being out for spring break, it will also have to take on Disney’s new Muppets movie starting on Friday.

While it was thought that Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros.), starring Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Lena Headey, might not maintain the #1 spot for a second weekend in a row, few thought it would literally reverse places with last week’s #2 movie. The historic action epic sequel dropped a whopping 58%, grossing $19.1 million in its second weekend with $78.3 million total.

As far as those new movies we mentioned, DreamWorks tried to get into the “Fast and Furious” business with their movie based on Electronic Arts’ racing video game Need for Speed, starring Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi, Michael Keaton and Dakota Johnson. Opening in 3,115 theaters, it failed to bring in the young male audience intended opening at #1 with $6.6 million on Friday but quickly dropping over the weekend to only end up with $17.8 million and third place behind the returning movies.

Need for Speed fared better overseas where it opened in 40 territories to the tune of $45.6 million, bringing the movie’s global weekend total to $63.4 million. The racing movie did particularly well in China, where it took in $21.2 million over the weekend.

Liam Neeson’s action-thriller Non-Stop (Universal) dropped just one place to fourth with $10.6 million, a minimal 33% drop, having grossed $68.8 million since opening late last month.

After carving a niche among a dedicated audience of older African-American female moviegoers, Tyler Perry finally had his first out-and-out flop, as Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club wasn’t even able to bring in $10 million over the weekend. Starring Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown and Terry Crews, Perry’s latest opened with just $8.3 million in 1,896 theaters, his weakest opening ever, not even making the $11.2 million of 2007’s Daddy’s Little Girls. Maybe it wasn’t too surprising that Lionsgate opened the movie in less theaters than many of Perry’s previous films after they decided not to re-up his deal.

After dominating for most of February, the animated hit The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.) continued going strong, adding another $7.7 million for sixth place and bringing its total to $236.9 million, holding its place as the highest-grossing movie of 2014 so far.

The Mark Burnett and Roma Downey-produced biblical epic Son of God (20th Century Fox) took seventh place with an additional $5.4 million, bringing its running total to $50.9 million.

After opening with an astounding $200 thousand per theater average, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight) was expanded into 66 theaters in select cities where it continued to do huge business. It brought in $3.6 million this weekend, an astounding $55 thousand per venue, to bring its total to $4.8 million, which is a fairly impressive amount considering it won’t be opening nationwide until March 28.

Three and a half months after opening in theaters, Disney’s Frozen celebrated its 16th consecutive weekend in the Top 10 as its $2.2 million weekend edged it closer to $400 million domestically. Currently, it has grossed $396.3 million in North America and another $630 million overseas.

Seven years after it was cancelled by the CW network, Rob Thomas’ teen detective series Veronica Mars (Warner Bros.), starring Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter and Tina Majorino, returned as a feature film. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the film was made for roughly $5 to 6 million and Friday, it was released into 291 theaters where it grossed an estimated $2 million for the weekend, enough to break into the Top 10 as it averaged more per theater than both the new movies in wide release.

As far as the limited releases, Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words (Focus Features) opened in 6 theaters in select cities, a slow launch before its wider expansion later in the month, where it grossed an estimated $120,000 or $20,000 per theater.

Also, Roger Michel’s travelogue dramedy Le Week-End (Music Box Films), starring Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum, grossed $45 thousand in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles, while Denis Villaneuve’s thriller Enemy (A24), starring Jake Gyllenhaal, scored $18 thousand in a single New York City theater.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.