‘Mr. Peabody’ zooms past ‘Need for Speed’; Disney after Iger

A scene from DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," featuring the voices of Ty Burrell and Max Charles.
A scene from DreamWorks Animation’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” featuring the voices of Ty Burrell and Max Charles.
(AP Photo / DreamWorks Animation)
<i>This post has been corrected, as indicated below</i>

After the coffee. Before the green beer.

The Skinny: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! That was quite an earthquake, L.A. folks. Anyone who read my box-office projector column this week saw everything turn out as expected. Just kidding! Some people thought “Need for Speed” could race away with the weekend victory. So, of course, it landed in third. Monday’s stories include the box-office roundup, Bob Iger succession stories and some apparent issues with the “Veronica Mars” digital downloads.

Daily Dose: CBS Corp. has officially begun the initial public offering process for its outdoor unit by launching its roadshow, the company announced this morning. CBS will sell 20 million shares, currently expected to be priced at $26 to $28 apiece, as the company prepares to split off the division, which will be converted into a real estate investment trust.

Puppy love: After making its debut in second place last weekend, DreamWorks Animation’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” topped the box office charts as newcomers, the poorly reviewed “Need for Speed” and “Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club,” fell shy of expectations. “Mr. Peabody” took in $21.2 million, while runner-up “300: Rise of an Empire” rolled on with $19 million. Aaron Paul-starrer “Need for Speed” notched a disappointing $17.8 million, while “Single Moms Club” posted a weak $8.3 million. Also, Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” booked a weekend stay in the top 10, generating $3.6 million from just 66 theaters. A lesson here: Don’t underestimate a well-received animated flick. Box-office roundups from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.


After Iger: Anne Sweeney’s surprise announcement of her impending departure from the Walt Disney Co. (and her budding directing career) has reopened the ever-present debate: Who will take over for CEO Bob Iger when he steps down in June 2016? High on the list of possible internal candidates are CFO Jay Rasulo or theme parks chief Thomas Staggs, and Disney has a history of hiring from within. Facebook CFO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg has been mentioned as a possible outside favorite, though her camp has batted down those rumors. The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal run through the potential succession plans.

Doubling down: British telecom firm Vodafone has agreed to buy the Spanish cable operator Ono for about $10 billion as it takes on European competitors Telefónica of Spain and Deutsche Telekom of Germany. Last year the giant reached a deal to purchase German cable company Kabel Deutschland. More on the European media consolidation from the New York Times and Reuters.

Mars attacks! Apparently some people who contributed to the Kickstarter project to fund the “Veronica Mars” movie, released this past weekend, were not happy when they tried to get the promised digital version of the film. Some had trouble downloading the flick and complained loudly enough that Warner Bros. issued a statement and apologized to users who experienced problems. More on the glitch from Variety.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey details the metamorphosis of James Franco. Richard Verrier on “Need for Speed” director and former stuntman Scott Waugh.


Follow me on Twitter, before the aftershocks hit! @rfaughnder.

[For the record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly credited an article about James Franco to Susan King.]