THE ST. PATRICK’S weekend box office has turned into the Peabody award.

Fox/DreamWorks Animation’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” was the big winner in its second weekend out, topping the domestic box office with $21.2-million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Final numbers are due Tuesday.

Reviving the time-traveling cartoon characters from the 1950s and ’60s Rocky and Bullwinkle shows, “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” — whose voice talent includes stars from “Modern Family” — has now grossed more than $63-million in the North American market.

“If anything, this is exceeding” expectations, Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, told the Associated Press, citing strong word-of-mouth. “It’s a combination of likable characters and it’s a nostalgia play for those who are familiar with the show.”

One box-office tracker had his own entertaining take on “Mr. Peabody’s” box-office take.

“The St. Patrick’s Day effect could be at play here, where families had to exercise their options at the theater rather than the pub,” Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told the AP. “That may have paid off for ‘Mr. Peabody.’ ”

A second big film with roots in cartoons, Warner Bros./Legendary’s sorta-sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” (last weekend’s box-office champ), was second ($19.1-million). “Mr. Peabody” and “300” flipped in the top-two spots from last weekend.

The debut of the videogame-based “Need for Speed” sputtered ($17.8-million) to finish third.


Mr. Peabody (voiced by “Modern Family’s” Ty Burrell), Penny (“Modern Family’s” Ariel Winter) and Sherman (Max Charles) in “Mr Peabody & Sherman.” (Fox/DreamWorks Animation via Associated Press.)



* “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” has now grossed $148.2-million worldwide, according to — just edging ahead of its reported production budget of $145-million.

* Disney’s “Frozen” — which grossed $2.1-million over the weekend — has joined the billion-dollar club. The Oscar-winning animated musical is now one of the Top 15 films ever in terms of global gross (not adjusted for inflation), with $1.026.6-billion.

* Buena Vista/Disney now has seven of the 16 biggest films ever  — including blockbusters starring Marvel characters (“The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3”), Johnny Depp characters (“Alice in Wonderland” and two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, “Dead Man’s Chest” and “On Stranger Tides”) and beloved animated characters (“Toy Story 3” and “Frozen”).

* Frozen,” which opened during the Thanksgiving weekend, joins another exclusive club: It is now among only 39 films ever to have spend at least 16 weeks in the box-office Top 10. (The record-holder is “E.T.,” which stayed in the Top 10 for an amazing 35 weeks in 1982-83.

The weekend’s Top 10 films, based on estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak:
1. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” $21.2 million.
2. “300: Rise of an Empire,” $19.1 million.
3. “Need for Speed,” $17.8 million.
4. “Non-Stop,” $10.6 million.
5. “The Single Moms Club,” $8.3 million.
6. “The LEGO Movie,” $7.7 million.
7. “Son of God,” $5.4 million.
8. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” $3.6 million.
9. “Frozen,” $2.1 million.
10. “Veronica Mars,” $2 million.