300 Sequel Fails to Rise to Original’s Glory
By John Hamann
March 9, 2014
Second this weekend goes to Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a costlier affair than 300: Rise of an Empire, but one that has a much better shot at legging out a win. Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the kid-friendly Mr. Peabody & Sherman did $8 million on Friday night, but had much better legs throughout the weekend than the R-rated 300 sequel. It had a Saturday figure of $14.5 million, and turned that into a weekend take of $32.5 million, good for a solid weekend multiplier of 4.06. Like Rise of an Empire, tracking was on the spot for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, as they were calling for an opening in the $30-35 million range. Fox put it out to 3,934 venues, and that massive amount of screens brought an only okay average of $8,261. Legs are going to be necessary, as this original will need a multiplier approaching 5.0 to match the budget, a multiplier that even The LEGO Movie won’t approach.
The $145 million film was a big gamble for the studio, as the source material for Mr. Peabody & Sherman would not be known to kids, and only to some adults. Mr. Peabody was part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show from the 1960s, which means those that watched the original are likely past their child rearing years. It also doesn’t appear to be as fresh as The LEGO Movie. Initial reviews were stellar, but then subdued somewhat leading up to release. As of today, Mr. Peabody & Sherman had a fresh rating of 77% at RottenTomatoes, a figure that is okay, but well back of the 96% fresh The LEGO Movie, and Frozen’s 89% fresh rating. The Cinemascore has to give the studios hope, as it came in at an A, which matched the LEGO event film. The other good news is that Mr. Peabody & Sherman has already been in release overseas for a few weekends, where it has already grossed $40 million, which will help take the pressure off the domestic gross. It has another weekend to work on its own in the next frame, before Muppets Most Wanted comes down on March 21st, and then Rio 2 hits on April 11th.
In third spot this weekend is last weekend’s number one, the Liam Neeson actioner Non-Stop. After debuting last weekend to $28.9 million and facing serious competition from 300: Rise of an Empire this weekend, Non-Stop held up fairly well considering. The Universal release earned another $15.4 million and dropped 47% from its opening frame. Taken this is not (Taken dropped 17% in weekend two), but considering what’s out there, Non-Stop should be happy with anything around (or better than) a 50% drop. This is only a $50 million film, and after two weekends, it already has a domestic take of $52.1 million, and had earned $20 million overseas prior to the start of this weekend. An $80-$90 million domestic haul is still in the cards, and a $100 million plus finish would give Universal their third $100 million earner of 2014 after Ride Along and Lone Survivor.
Fourth is The LEGO Movie, which is enjoying its fifth strong weekend. The Warner Bros. release earned another $11 million, off 47% as it takes a slight hit from Mr. Peabody & Sherman are now on the scene. The $60 million release has already amassed $225 million stateside, and has earned an additional $136 million overseas. Mr. Peabody is drooling.