Box Office Prediction: 'Need for Speed' vs. '300: Rise of an Empire'

Need for Speed vs. 300

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend - in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle - to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from 300: Rise of an Empire's opening weekend - and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge that our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of March 14 - 16, 2014.

This weekend, action/revenge film Need for Speed is released in 3,000 theaters and Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club debuts in 1,800 theaters. Bad Words gets a limited release of six theaters while Enemy and Veronica Mars have unspecified limited releases.


#1 - Need for Speed

Our choice for the top spot this week is Need for Speed. The film is an adaptation of one of the most successful video game franchises of all-time - as over 150 million copies have been sold worldwide since the game debuted in 1994.

The video game movie genre hasn’t had the same kind of box office success as superhero films, but there are reasons to believe Need for Speed could be a solid contender. It’s obviously trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Fast and Furious series, which is one of the most commercially viable film franchises around today. While star Aaron Paul is unproven as a leading man in movies, his iconic role as Jesse Pinkman in TV’s Breaking Bad earned him a large fan base that could follow him to the multiplex. Need for Speed is not projected to be a major hit, but these factors combined with a solid marketing presence (and 3D ticket prices) could help it do solid business.

March Movie Preview - Need for Speed

#2 - 300: Rise of an Empire

Look for last week's champ, 300: Rise of an Empire (read our review), to fall to second this week. During its first three days, the action sequel grossed over $45 million. Even though that was way below the original’s opening weekend, it still indicates that there is an audience for this franchise. However, it will face tough competition in the form of Need for Speed, which not only takes away 3D screens, but also sports a PG-13 rating (making it more “accessible” than the R-rated 300 sequel).

#3 - Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Coming in third should be Mr. Peabody and Sherman (read our review). DreamWorks’ latest animated film grossed $32.2 million during its opening weekend. While that’s lower than a typical animated film, the fact remains it’s the only fresh one available right now. Families don’t have many options, so those who missed out last week could go now.

#4 - Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club

The newest offering from director Tyler Perry, The Single Moms Club is our choice for fourth. Usually, Perry’s films perform well at the box office (despite their poor critical receptions). However, we believe this one could be an exception to the rule. It’s only opening in 1,800 theaters, which will put it at a distinct disadvantage against its competition. Also, the marketplace is crowded with big action movies and animated family films, and that will make it tough for this film to contend for audiences’ attention. Perry’s last non-Madea film, Peeples, only made $9.1 million total domestically. His die-hard fans will come out, but Single Moms Club will have trouble achieving mainstream success.

#5 - Non-Stop

Rounding out the top five should be Non-Stop (read our review). The demand for the latest Liam Neeson action film will continue to decrease with the arrival of Need for Speed, but it continues to hang in there, grossing $15.8 million last weekend.

#10 - 3 Days to Kill

Our tiebreaker this week is 3 Days to Kill (read our review), which finished in seventh last week.


The Veronica Mars movie has received a considerable amount of attention thanks to its Kickstarter funding project, but that alone can’t get it into the top five (or have it work as a tiebreaker). The film is opening in an unspecified limited release, making it difficult to determine how big of a box office splash it will be.

That's it for this week's breakdown.


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Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it's time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.

Opening in theaters this week (Wide):

  • Need for Speed - 3,000 theaters
  • Tyler Perry's Single Moms Club - 1,800 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Bad Words - 6 theaters
  • Enemy - unspecified
  • Veronica Mars - unspecified

Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.

Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (300: Rise of an Empire's opening): Sal reports that BlackKnight16 won with a perfect score of 15.

For the record, here are our picks from last week - along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).

  • #1 - Mr. Peabody and Sherman (1)
  • #2 - 300: Rise of an Empire (1)
  • #3 - Non-Stop (3)
  • #4 - Son of God (1)
  • #5 - The LEGO Movie (1)
  • #10 - Frozen
  • Final Score: 7 points


Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)

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