Box Office Revs Up with ‘Need for Speed,’ ‘Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club’

Box Office Revs Up with 'Need

Racing pic expected to win the weekend in the mid-$20 million range

While expectations for Disney-DreamWorks’ racer “Need for Speed” are not at the high-octane levels of the established “Fast and the Furious” franchise, the film’s projected mid-$20 million domestic launch, added to a day-and-date debut in practically every major overseas market (including China), should give it a more-than-serviceable jump off the starting line.

The film bows alongside Lionsgate’s “Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club,” which tracking services have pegged in the $15 million-$18 million range. Holdovers “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” should outperform “Single Moms” in the low-$20 millions each.

One to watch will be the Kickstarter-funded limited release “Veronica Mars,” which Warner Bros. in partnership with its digital division is releasing simultaneously on video-on-demand and at 291 theaters across the country, the vast majority of them AMC locations. Warners and AMC hosted higher-priced fan events of the film on Thursday, selling out weeks ago.

The anticipation behind “Veronica Mars,” which had more than 90,000 Kickstarter backers, comes from a very fervent core fanbase of the cult TV show. “Need for Speed,” on the other hand, scored well in early screenings beyond fans of the popular racing videogame series, on which the film is based.

Disney is releasing the film at 3,115 domestic locations, including approximately 2,100 3D and 280 premium large-format screens.

Budgeted at $66 million, “Need for Speed” must grow legs through the spring break holidays, as well as make considerable tracks internationally, to be considered a hit financially. DreamWorks needs the film to be profitable following commercial bombs including “The Fifth Estate” and “Delivery Man.” A few positives in its corner are “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul, added to the popularity of the vidgames, which have generated more than $4 billion in revenue. That said, racecar movies haven’t done well at the box office historically.

“Single Moms Club,” meanwhile, appeals to the core Perry fanbase, launching in the usual first-quarter release date via Lionsgate, though, this time, as a lead-up to Easter. In addition to African-American women, Perry films also tend to draw strong interest among Hispanic femmes; this film should do so even more, with Latino heartthrob William Levy co-starring.

Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight expands Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to 66 theaters after scoring a record-setting per-screen average last weekend.

Also in limited release, Focus Features launches Jason Bateman’s adult comedy “Bad Words” at six locations, with plans to expand the film nationwide March 21. The film marks only the second release for Focus following its absorption of FilmDistrict. The former company, under previous head James Schamus, acquired “Bad Words” at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

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  3. LO:L says:

    America loves crap. Also, all the homophobic gay-bashing taking place in this comments section goes to show that America is also embarrassingly idiotic. You deserve your simplistic diets of superhero fodder an Lego films. Anything more will be above you. Shame on you all.

  4. Sam says:

    Cannot wait to see need for speed!

  5. harry georgatos says:

    NEED FOR SPEED has blockbuster car racing sequences for the teen goons of the North American box office. The performances in this film is abysmal to say the least. The lead actor with his silent and strong movie star performance is indeed embarrassing. This actors reaction shot is laughable and highlights this actors shortcomings. The script is developed for illiterate teens who have no numerical or speaking abilities. The supporting actors are as bad as it gets. On the other side the one saving grace are the hi-tech and sleek cars with speed to burn. Dumb script with sleek direction. Better then some FAST AND FURIOUS movies but no where near as good as Rob Cohen’s franchise starter or FAST 5 and FAST 6. There’s enough dumb petrol heads out there to turn this into a solid franchise and one day we may get a mash-up of NEED FOR SPEED versus FAST AND FURIOUS.

    • tsk tsk says:

      Dude, are you sure you’re not gay and paid for a ticket to see Single Moms Club but stepped into the wrong theater instead? Need for Speed is not Fast and Furious nor was it intended to be. Aaron Paul and Michael Keaton are great in this movie. The story is good and the car sequences are awesome. Really dude, being gay is not a good thing but you have plenty of company at Moms Club.

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