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By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, March 16 "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
"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
"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.
"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
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
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
Lionsgate released "Tyler Perry's The Single Moms
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by