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'Peabody,' '300' beat 'Need for Speed'; 'Single Moms Club' weak

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DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" scored a box-office victory with a strong second weekend as "Need for Speed" fell short of expectations and "Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club" bombed. 

The 3-D animated "Mr. Peabody," a comedy about a hyper-intelligent, time-traveling dog and his adopted boy, took in an estimated $21.2 million in ticket sales Friday through Sunday in the United States and Canada. 

The kid-friendly film distributed by 20th Century Fox and featuring the voice of Ty Burrell has grossed $63.2 million so far in those two countries. 

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Last weekend, the adaptation of the Jay Ward cartoon characters opened in second place behind the 3-D action sequel "300: Rise of an Empire." This weekend's take for the well-reviewed film was just 34% less than its debut. 

DreamWorks Pictures' "Need for Speed," the $66-million car-chase picture starring Aaron Paul of the AMC series "Breaking Bad," generated a studio-estimated $17.8 million in ticket sales in its first three days. People who had seen pre-release audience surveys had expected a gross of $25 million to $30 million for a possible weekend win. Instead, it came in 3rd place behind Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' "300" follow-up. 

The film's target audience of young men did not turn out in as great of numbers as expected, said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of theatrical distribution for Disney, which released the film. "The young-male audience, in pre-opening weekend tracking, was the hottest segment of people who were interested in the film, but they have not yet shown up in as big of a quantity," Hollis said.  

Hollis called the domestic opening "slightly disappointing," though the film fared better overseas, pulling in $45.6 million from outside the U.S. and Canada for a worldwide total of $63.4 million. 

REVIEW: Next to 'Fast & Furious,' 'Need for Speed' stalls out

The video game adaptation, in which Paul plays a street racer on the mission of vengeance, earned generally negative reviews, though moviegoers gave it a grade of B-plus, according to the polling company CinemaScore. 

"The Single Moms Club" from Lionsgate grossed a disappointing $8.3 million, missing expectations of around $18 million. That marks Tyler Perry's lowest opening ever as a director, debuting weaker than 2007's "Daddy's Little Girls," which launched with about $11 million in ticket sales.

"The Single Moms Club" landed in fifth place domestically behind the 3-week-old Liam Neeson thriller "Non-Stop." This is the final film to come out of Lionsgate's production deal with the prolific TV producer and filmmaker, though they will continue to work together on future projects. 

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," the latest from the quirky director Wes Anderson, generated an impressive $3.6 million from just 66 theaters, shooting the well-received picture into the domestic top 10. That result bodes well for the movie, which distributor Fox Searchlight will expand to more screens in the coming weeks. 

"Veronica Mars," the Kickstarter-funded project based on the murder-mystery TV show that ended in 2007, launched in 291 theaters this weekend. The movie, released by Warner Bros., took in about $2 million to virtually tie "The Monuments Men" in 10th place, and scored a solid $7,000 per screen.  

The film was an unusual release because of the $5.7-million crowdfunding campaign and also because it debuted in theaters at the same time as it became available for home viewing through video on-demand. 

ALSO:

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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

Twitter: @rfaughnder

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