Opening up in second place on the weekend was the latest Dreamworks dud in Mr. Peabody & Sherman. While $32.2 million is ahead of Turbo and Rise of the Guardians, it still ranks 18th place in terms of Dreamworks animation openings. Like 300, it also appears that Mr. Peabody & Sherman will save some face overseas, so Dreamworks may be safe. With decent reviews and little competition, it should manage to be a good option for families in March. With its opening, it also managed to kill off The LEGO Movie as LEGO suffered its biggest drop yet. No hard feelings, though, as LEGO has already passed the $200 million mark. All this means that Blue Sky is feeling pretty optimistic at the moment as the course will be clear for Rio 2 to monopolize the animation marketplace in April.
The final opening of the weekend was a historical one as The Grand Budapest Hotel scored more than $800,000 in only four theaters. It's per theater average was $202,000, which is second all time by a movie not released by Disney. Add in the Disney movies and it ranks 9th. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the next Wes Anderson movie; Wes Anderson being most well known for Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums. Anderson brings Bill Murray with him as always, but also has Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Edward Norton, and Saoirse Ronan amongst others.
Lining up with Need For Speed is the gazillionth movie by director Tyler Perry, who has consistently put out one to two movies a year since 2006. This month's version is Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club. It's obvious that these movies have a pretty consistent fanbase as most of them have wound up in the $30 to $50 million range for their final total after opening between $15 and $25 million. It's safe to bet a similar turnout for this one. It will be interesting to see what Tyler Perry does next after this because as of now, he doesn't have any more movies on the docket. But perhaps that will change soon.
That's all for wide releases this weekend, but we do have two significant movies coming out in limited release. The first of those is Bad Words. Bad Words is a comedy starring Jason Bateman and has a very unique premise. Bateman's character finds a loophole in the 8th grade spelling bee rules where he is able to participate as an adult. The movie is getting positive buzz on early screenings and thus could be a big hit later in the month when it expands nationwide.
The second limited release of note is the film version of Veronica Mars. The story of Veronica Mars is a very unique one. The TV series began in 2004 and lasted three seasons before it was cancelled. Upon cancellation, creator Rob Thomas had a desire to make a movie to provide closure to the fans. The film idea was presented to Warner Bros. and was shot down. At this time, a film seemed bleak, but Thomas didn't give up on this. Last March, he and star Kristen Bell began a Kickstarter project for the movie that broke all kinds of records for Kickstarter earning a total of just under $6 million. Now that Kickstarter project has become a major motion picture, which is fairly revolutionary. Expansion of the movie will be determined by how well the movie does in its limited release.
Providing some counter-programming to Divergent will be Muppets Most Wanted. The Muppets have been around for what seems like forever. However, they had disappeared for a while before they got a resurgence three years in 2011's The Muppets. While The Muppets used new voice actors to voice the beloved characters, you wouldn't notice much of a difference as voice acting was spot on. The plot line for that movie was a comeback plot line, which turned out to be what happened in real life as The Muppets became the highest grossing Muppets movie ever; second highest when adjusted for ticket price inflation. With a Kermit-imposter story line, Muppets Most Wanted should be able to build on that success. The main human actors in this movie are completely different as Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, and Ty Burrell replace Amy Adams, Jason Segel, and Chris Cooper. And of course there should be a whole host of surprise cameos to keep the audience entertained.
Ending this off on a whimper is the movie Sabotage. Back in the 80's and 90's, Arnold Schwarzenegger was possibly the biggest action star in the business, known best for his intense R-rated action movies. However, in the 2000's he took time off to be the Governator of California. After serving successfully as a politician, Arnold has left that life, at least for now, and has tried to make a comeback on the Hollywood action scene. He headlined two R-rated action movies last year, The Last Stand and Escape Plan. Both fell pretty hard on their faces. This month's Sabotage is Arnold's latest attempt at a Hollywood comeback to the R-rated action scene. But as was the case last year, it seems that Hollywood doesn't care much for Arnold anymore and my guess is that Sabotage will suffer the fate of The Last Stand and Escape Plan.