Mr.-Peabody-And-ShermanUPDATED: 12:45 P.M.: Mr. Peabody & Sherman from Fox/DreamWorks is doing very well today with what looks like a $6M take in early estimates to come in second right now behind Need For Speed which is about $1M to $2M higher. Like I said below, this animated pic will get a nice bump from family audiences this weekend and about 19% of kids are off for early Easter break so that is fueling it. Tight race.

Need For SpeedPREVIOUS, Friday, 9:58 A.M.: Need For Speed, the soft PG-13 cross-country racing film from DreamWorks based on the Electronic Arts video game of the same name, opened with what distributor Disney said is a $1.1M take on Thursday night. The late shows started at 8 PM to grab good numbers — in fact, Oblivion, which opened in April of last year, also took in $1.1M in late nights. Need For Speed is expected to open around $25M-$28M for the three-day weekend to take the No. 1 spot. We’ll see how many gamers come out and bring a friend this weekend.

The surprise last night was Veronica Mars which took in $260K on midnight screenings for distributor Warner Bros. — a rock-solid number for this picture which was only in 95 theaters at midnight. It will be in in 291 theaters this weekend.veronica-mars-movie-has-a-release-date It definitely brought out the fan base for the TV show-turned-feature film, which was crowdfunded on Kickstarter by creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell and raised the money in no time. The question is what the audience will be past its fan base. But a heck of a start for this picture.

Related: PaleyFest: ‘Veronica Mars’ Creator Rob Thomas On A Sequel, Crowdfunding And That Poster Problem

Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club came in around $180K-$200K in late nights that started at 8 PM compared to his Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor which did 525K when it opened last year in March (Moms Club also took in less than his Madea’s Christmas). Moms Club is on 1,896 screens. Bets are on that this one will take in high teens this weekend.

Tyler_Perrys_Single_Moms_Club_3The question this weekend is what will take No. 2, and all eyes are on Fox’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Warner Bros.’ 300: Rise Of An Empire as it depends how much both drop in percentages in their second weekends out. Toss-up at this time, but gotta remember that Peabody gets that big bump from family audiences, so we’ll see. Non-Stop from Universal is no slouch either but it’s in its third week out.