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Friday Box Office: Holdovers Battle 'Need for Speed' for Top Spot, 'Grand Budapest' & 'Veronica Mars' Reach Top 10

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood March 15, 2014 at 2:01PM

A three-way race for the weekend #1 started off with the DreamWorks video game adaptation "Need for Speed" (distributed by Buena Vista) on top with $6.64 million. But either #2, "300: Rise of an Empire" (Warner Bros.) with $5.8 million, or more likely "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (20th Century-Fox), at $5.45 million could overtake "Speed" by the time final results are in on Monday.
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Need for Speed
Need for Speed

A three-way race for the weekend #1 started off with the DreamWorks video game adaptation "Need for Speed" (distributed by Buena Vista) on top with $6.64 million. But either #2, "300: Rise of an Empire" (Warner Bros.) with $5.8 million, or more likely "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (20th Century-Fox), at $5.45 million could overtake "Speed" by the time final results are in on Monday. Both "300" and "Peabody" are in their second week. With its family-based audience likely moving it ahead -- and with an expected drop of only around a third for its second weekend -- odds favor "Peabody."

"Speed"'s gross includes over $1 million for Thursday night shows, and if we excluded those numbers, it would land at just about #2 for Friday. Whatever its standing, it clearly outgrossed the other new entry, #4 "The Single Mom's Club" (Lionsgate) from Tyler Perry, which managed $3.2 million, putting it in a tie with "Non-Stop" (Universal), holding well in its third weekend.

This mixed bag of numbers brought the Top 10 to around $30 million, up from this same day last year, although for the full weekend it could be a close call for the string of box office upticks, which began at Thanksgiving, to continue. #6 "The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.) managed over $2 million (barely), with #7 "Son of God" (20th Century-Fox) at $1.45 million.

The lower-end weakness allowed two more limited films to enter the top 10. In only 66 theaters, Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Fox Searchlight) did nearly $1.1 million for #8. This outstanding one-day total for so few theaters indicates that the film's record-setting limited runs last week were no fluke. 

Playing at 291 four-walled (rented) theaters -- mainly AMC's, in an effort to get around the major circuit boycott of films also released on VOD platforms --  Warner Bros' "Veronica Mars"  took in a decent $1 million, although just under 30% of that came from Thursday late-night shows, suggesting this might be front-loaded. The gross, though, should end up good enough to beat previous day-and-date parallel releases for a first weekend.

Sony's "The Monuments Men," just under $600,000, made #10 for the day, but likely will be displaced for the weekend by "Frozen" (Buena Vista) which took in a little over $500,000.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, Box Office Top Ten, Box Office, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, Wes Anderson, Veronica Mars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.