Movie Monday: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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 Moviegoers hopped into their own wayback machine this weekend, visiting some old, old Saturday-morning friends.

Yes, that’s right: Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the dog and his boy who originally rose to fame as part of the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons of the 1950s and ’60s (and who reintroduced themselves repeatedly through the magic of reruns), flew their flying contraption to the top of the box office heap this weekend and claimed the title for its very own.

You might say the beagle has landed … at No. 1.

The DreamWorks feature lost just a little over a third of its week-one audience and earned an estimated $21.2 million—the only movie to crest the $20 million mark this week. A nice little career capper for the world’s smartest dog.

As a result, Themistokles and his ripped Greek warriors discovered for themselves how fleeting empires can be. After reigning supreme last week, 300: Rise of an Empire slipped to second place and $19.1 million.

‘Course, that was still more than enough to trump Need for Speed, the week’s highest-earning newcomer. The movie’s $17.8 million take was, according to Box Office Mojo, far lower than even the weakest-performing Fast & Furious flick. On the other hand, it was in line with what most movies based on video games have made—suggesting, perhaps, that most folks inclined to see such a movie are too busy playing video games to be bothered.

Non-Stop paused, at least momentarily, in fourth place with $10.6 million (or in airliner terms, enough to check three or four bags, depending on weight). It held off the weekend’s other wide-release newcomer, The Single Moms Club. The latter finished fifth with $8.3 million, by far the worst opening of director Tyler Perry’s otherwise incredibly consistent career.

King of Quirk Wes Anderson saw his latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, open just a wee bit wider in its second week of release—to a whopping 66 theaters. But it made an average of $55,152 per theater to become a surprise Top 10 entrant: It finished eighth with $3.6 million.

Oh, and for those Marshmallows wondering how Veronica Mars fared, ticket sales were a little … squishy. The big-screen update of the beloved UPN/CW show played in 291 theaters and earned about 2 million bucks. Not bad for a project funded originally through a Kickstarter campaign, but not enough to perhaps warrant a sequel.

Though if they promised to call it Veronica Mars Attacks, I might kick in a buck or two …

Final figures update: 1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman, $21.8 million; 2. 300: Rise of an Empire, $19.2 million; 3. Need for Speed, $17.8 million; 4. Non-Stop, $10.6 million; 5. The Single Moms Club $8.1 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul blogs for Focus on the Family’s Dad Matters and has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—to be released in April 2015. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kal El More than 1 year ago

--It's interesting to think about how popular Kickstarter campaigns have become. Even some Christian bands (including Flyleaf and Fireflight) have done or are doing Kickstarters for their new albums, and it seems like movies are getting in on the act, too. "Veronica Mars" may be the movie that paves the way for fans to 'vote with their dollars' on a whole new level.

In a similar vein, the only reason "Riddick" (the third installment in the Riddick franchise, for those not familiar with it) got made was because Vin Diesel's devout Facebook fan base petitioned so heavily for the movie that, coupled with his own efforts, we made it happen. Apparently Facebook and Kickstarter are the next phase of 'sign this internet petition supporting -your cause here-'. I'm sure there are scads of these things out there, varying in level of success and devotion. I've seen causes like this pop up for other things movie-related as well, like the 'Make a "Dredd" sequel' Facebook page and petition, or most recently, a petition asking Marvel Studios and Sony to let Spider-Man be part of a future Avengers movie. Granted, not all of these things are using Kickstarter (and some, apparently, can't for legal reasons), but the fact that in select cases the fan support has gotten such results does raise some thought.

Of course, one of my first thoughts about the potentially positive applications of this is for Christian film making. Let's be honest, much as I support the intent and messages behind many of these church group movies, they often feel a little forced or maybe even hokey at times. Think what could happen if a group of Christians in the industry came up with a truly great story that shared the Gospel in a way that would be accessible and even fun for both saved and unsaved moviegoers, and they set up a Kickstarter to get it made and made impressively. Now, its a long shot, I know, but then so was resurrecting an old TV show for a big screen outing (besides, this is just indulging the hypothetical), and that just happened. Seriously, if we decided it sounded like a great movie and we chipped in to make it happen, might the cause of sharing Jesus and godly values on film advance?

Charity Bishop More than 1 year ago

--I'm with rolltide! I rented Veronica Mars on Amazon.com. I'd be interested to know the profits off rentals there, and selling copies on iTunes. Plus, everyone who contributed to the project got a free download!

Kendra Ware More than 1 year ago

-- I'd be interested in seeing how much money Veronica Mars earned when you add in people who watched it on iTunes, etc.  As a fan of the show, I would have gladly gone to see it in a theater, but the the closest one it's playing in is over three hours away.