Weekend Box Office: Dreamworks Really Needed ‘Need For Speed’ To Be A Hit

Dreamworks apparently had high hopes that Need for Speed would become their first “franchise” movie since splitting with Paramount, and that they could maybe even make some of that sweet Fast/Furious money. Sadly, this was not to be, and NFS screeched into third place behind Mr. Peabody and 300: Rise of a Sequel. Basically, Dreamworks hoped for car movie money but had to settle for video game movie money. Probably not enough leather jackets.

Playing at 3,118 locations, Need for Speed opened in third place with an estimated $17.8 million. That’s a somewhat disappointing start: it’s lower than the worst Fast & Furious movie (Tokyo Drift, $24 million), and is roughly on par with past video game adaptations Resident Evil ($17.7 million) and Max Payne ($17.6 million). [BoxOfficeMojo]

And so, the search for the actually decent video game adaptation continues, long after it should’ve been called off. Oddly, Need for Speed actually made more money in China than in the US, debuting with $21.2 million there. China is probably more used to second-rate knockoffs. Need for Speed earned $45.6 million in total overseas box office, probably enough to recoup the modest budget by the end of the run. But enough to warrant a sequel? I guess we’ll see. Resident Evil did have seven of them.

Another funny angle for Need for Speed is to look at that turd and try to imagine Steven Spielberg signing off on it, because that’s apparently how it happens at Dreamworks.

But the small studio has a unique selling point: Steven Spielberg, who is intimately involved in everything from reviewing script drafts to giving notes on daily footage. “Telling Steven Spielberg how I was going to direct his movie was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said “Need for Speed” director Scott Waugh, who was red hot in Hollywood after his hit 2012 feature directorial debut “Act of Valor.” [WallStreetJournal]

Somehow, none of the horrible movies Spielberg is involved with seem to rub off on him, like Bill Murray doing Garfield 2.

Elsewhere, did you know Tyler Perry had a movie out this weekend? Yeah, no one else did either.

In fifth place, Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club bombed with $8.3 million. That’s the lowest opening ever for a movie directed by Tyler Perry—2007’s Daddy’s Little Girls previously held that “record” with $11.2 million.

The Single Moms Club’s audience was 79 percent female and 80 percent over 25 years of age. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Well there’s your problem right there. Tyler Perry’s audience skews heavily female and they come to see hot man meat. You can’t have a Tyler Perry title like “Single Moms Club,” that implies a lack of hot man meat, you’re going to do terrible numbers. Next time go with something a little more provocative, like “Pastor Morris Chestnut’s Sunday Sauna Sermon” or something. You need something that really combines a religious message with the promise of male shirtlessness.


Grand Budapest Hotel expanded to 66 theaters and broke the record for per-theater average for a film playing at more than 50 locations, with $55,152 per theater. I never know if these kinds of records are something to celebrate, or just proof that a movie should be playing way more places.