March 16, 2014

Cartoons at the box office: "Mr. Peabody" bites first place

Cartoons at the box office: "Mr. Peabody" bites first place

Mr. Peabody and ShermanThis weekend’s box office saw “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” rise in the rankings from second to first place, earning $21.2 million this weekend for a total to date of $63.2 million. While I’m guessing it won’t make back its $145 million cost domestically alone, its foreign take of $85 million added in makes “Peabody” already having made back its cost. As for its future chances, it might stay steady (though I expect next weekend’s releases to prevent another repeat at #1).

Besides the film earning strong word of mouth, “Peabody” also did well thanks to the lackluster live-action films it was up against. “Need For Speed” didn’t do well (though suspect overseas will love it), the “300” sequel saw a sizable dropoff, and Tyler Perry’s latest film “The Single Moms Club” opened rather low for Perry.

(Yes, I know there’s the shady practice of “Hollywood accounting,” plus advertising expenses, to account for whenever I mention films “making back their cost,” but I’m mostly going with the simplistic “what it cost to produce.” Some suggest a film should make twice as much globally as what it cost to produce to be considered “profitable.”)

In other box office rankings, “The Lego Movie” made $7.7 million this weekend, earning to date $236.9 million and coming in sixth place. “Frozen” came in ninth place, earning $2.1 million for a total to date of $396.3 million, and should soon cross the $400 million mark.

I finally saw “Frozen” over the weekend, wanting to see what made it a billion dollar movie at the box office. I found it enjoyable, with fun characters and a nice subversion of the usual Disney fairy-tale movie ending. I also finally heard the song “Let It Go” in full; while it’s a nice pop tune, in my opinion it’s no “Friend Like Me” (from “Aladdin”). As for “earworms” (to use the term), a better one would be “The Lego Movie””s “Everything is Awesome.”

Next weekend sees two big films open, “Divergent” (the latest film-based-on-a-young-adult-book attempt at cashing in on the “Twilight”/”Hunger Games” crowd) and “Muppets Most Wanted,” the sequel to 2011’s “The Muppets.” I expect “Muppets Most Wanted” to crowd “Peabody” out of the top family film spot, while “Divergent” will be #1 (if it lives up to its hype). With “Frozen” coming out on DVD this week, I expect its top ten days are numbered, and should be out of the top ten rankings by the time “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” comes out in two weeks.

Tags: animationbox officeFrozenMediamoviesMr. Peabody and ShermanMuppets Most WantedThe Lego Movie