DreamWorks Pictures' "Need for Speed" is expected to outpace Tyler Perry's "The Single Moms Club" for a box-office victory this weekend.
The $65-million, stunt-filled picture, starring Aaron Paul of the AMC series "Breaking Bad," could generate $25 million to $30 million in ticket sales from the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
That will muscle the PG-13 car flick to a win before Summit Entertainment's highly anticipated dystopian teen adventure "Divergent" hits cinemas next week.
Lionsgate's "Single Moms Club" could debut with $18 million, while last week's No. 1 "300: Rise of an Empire" could bring in around $20 million domestically in its second weekend.
In "Need for Speed," which takes its name from the long-running video game franchise, Paul plays a street racer who is framed for the death of a close friend and seeks revenge once released from prison. The adaptation is directed by Scott Waugh, who made the 2012 Navy SEAL film "Act of Valor."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is releasing the 3-D movie, which has been generally panned by critics, as indicated by a rating of 27% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes as of Thursday. It also stars Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper and Scott Mescudi.
An $18-million weekend for "Single Moms Club" would be in line with recent movies from Tyler Perry, though nowhere near his best. 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 on future projects.
Perry's last effort, "A Madea Christmas," opened at the low end of expectations with $16 million and went on to gross about $52 million. The last non-"Madea" movie Perry directed, 2013's "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor," also ended up with about $52 million.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' "300: Rise of an Empire" opened on top last week with $45 million domestically. So far, the $100-million Greco-Persian 3-D epic has pulled in more than $140 million worldwide, with more than 60% of the total coming from overseas.
Also opening Friday is "Veronica Mars," the Kickstarter-funded movie based on the murder-mystery TV series starring Kristen Bell. Warner Bros. is releasing the film in about 270 theaters at the same time as it becomes available for home viewing via VOD.
Wes Anderson's star-studded and critically lauded "Grand Budapest Hotel" will run in 66 theaters this weekend following a robust debut on four screens last week.
Other limited releases for Friday include the Kurt Russell heist film "Art of the Steal," from the Weinstein Co.'s Radius label, and Focus Features' comedy "Bad Words," starring and directed by "Arrested Development's" Jason Bateman.
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