Weekend Box Office: 'LEGO Movie' Tops With $31M

Feb 23 2014, 11:19am CST | by

Weekend Box Office: 'LEGO Movie' Tops With $31M
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Everything is still awesome for The LEGO Movie, as the smash franchise-starter earned another $31.4 million in its third weekend. That’s a whopping 4.3x weekend multiplier and a sign of some pretty strong matinee legs. Even coming off a holiday weekend, the film dropped just 37%. The Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner) picture ended its third frame with $183.1 million domestic, finally (and definitively) outpacing The Lorax, which was at $158 million off a $22 million third weekend two years ago. At this rate, give or take its strength against DreamWorks Animation's Mr. Peabody and Sherman in two weeks, The LEGO Movie should end its domestic run with around $270 million, easily the biggest total for a non-sequel animated film outside of the Disney/Pixar wheelhouse. The LEGO Movie 2 has been slotted for May 26, 2017.

There were two new releases in the marketplace, neither of which impressed. Kevin Costner returned to “face on the poster” status with Relativity’s Three Days To Kill. The Luc Besson-produced. McG-directed action comedy earned $12.3 million for the weekend, which marks a surprisingly robust 3.075x weekend multiplier. The good news is that the film cost Relativity and Eurocorp just $28 million, so the usual over/under $30 million here and over/under $30 million overseas for Luc Besson productions should be enough to break even during the theatrical run. I’m sure we’re all shocked that Kevin Costner is no longer the huge movie star he was in the 1990′s, but it’s double the $6.2 million debut of his last starring vehicle, 2008′s Swing Vote. He’ll get another chance via Ivan Reitman’s football drama Draft Day in April, which seems more his wheelhouse anyway.

The next opener was Sony/Tri-Star’s Pompeii. Sony didn’t spend a dime producing this one, allowing Constantin Films to produce the $80-$100 million “Titanic Meets Gladiator Meets Dante’s Peak” hybrid and merely received a distribution fee. Film District handled the marketing. All of this is a long way of saying that Sony doesn’t care too much that the film made $10 million this weekend. The Paul W.S. Anderson film should end its domestic run with under $30 million and be a token curiosity. But the film is debuting overseas in 30 markets this weekend, and that’s where the film may actually make a few bucks. Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers earned $20 million in America back in late 2011 but earned $111 million overseas, one of the biggest spreads on record. Meanwhile, I’m sure we’re all shocked that Kit Harrington couldn’t power this one to hit status. By the way, I, Frankenstein and The Legend of Hercules have both stalled at $18.6 million domestic.

In holdover news, all three of last weekend’s “romantic films” crashed pretty hard from last weekend. Warner Bros.’ A Winter’s Tale earned $2.13 million this weekend compared to $7.7 million last weekend. The much-discussed artistic misfire (which at least was apparently trying for something different) dropped 71% from last weekend and has now earned $11.2 million total. Endless Love dropped 68% from last weekend, earning $4.3 million for Universal, down from $13.3 million last weekend. The $20 million romantic drama now sits with $20.1 million and should at least break even by the time it leaves theaters.  And yes, even Sony’s About Last Night dropped 71% from its opening frame, going from $25.6 million to $7.4 million.  Nonetheless, with a $12.5 million budget, it’s still a big hit with $38.1million today even if it fails to reach $55 million domestic.

Sony’s Robocop earned $9.4 million on its second weekend, down 57% from last weekend which  is almost leggy for this weekend. The $100 million remake has thus-far earned $43 million domestic. It’s already tracking below A Good Day To Die Hard, which means it will likely end its run below $67 million. It’s even with Liam Neeson’s Unknown but made 1/3 less respectively this weekend, and is dead even with Ghost Rider 2, so the film should end with between $52 million and $63 million. The original Robocop made $53 million back in 1987, which would be about $114 million today. So “artificially” speaking, it will probably surpass the first Robocop even as it cost 7x more to produce. The good news is that it’s doing much better overseas, where it has earned $80 million as of Thursday. It be yet another “flop over here, smash over there” picture, which offers a host of questions better left to a later date.

In forgotten would-be franchises, Vampire Academy dropped 86% in its third weekend, partially because it lost 80% of its screens, with now only 536 venues for a new cume of $7.6 million. Monuments Men held up okay in its third weekend, earning about $8.1 million (-53%) for a $58 million cume. Ironically, it’s already out-grossed five of the nine Best Picture nominees at this year’s Oscars. So kudos to Sony for choosing big fish-in-small pond profits over awards-chasing.  Walt Disney's Frozen earned $4.3 million for a $384 million domestic total. It has earned $980 million worldwide and should be crossing $1 billion in a week or two. That Awkward Moment dropped 60% in weekend four, earning $1.4 million and giving the $8 million rom-com a $24 million cume.

Universal’s Ride Along earned $4.7 million this weekend to bring its cume to $123.2 million while Universal’s Lone Survivor grossed $2 million to bring its domestic total to $121.7 million. In limited release news, Walt Disney debuted an English-dubbed version of Hayao Miyazaki’s alleged swan song The Wind Rises. The film opened on 21 screens in advance of its 450 screen release next weekend and earned a solid $306,000 ($14,571 per-screen). Of course, the film has already earned $112 million overseas, so Disney’s domestic releases generally amount to the Mouse House doing a public service. Finally, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is now at $423.627 million, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423.315 million) to become the 10th biggest domestic grosser of all-time. It’s at $863 million worldwide. Someone get Josh Hutcherson his own superhero franchise, stat!

That’s it for today. Join us for  next weekend for one of the odder frames on record. Universal drops the Liam Neeson action film Non-Stop while 20th Century Fox releases Son Of God, a truncated version of a a History Channel mini-series. Disney debuts The Wind Rises semi-wide while Sony drops the uber-successful ($67 million thus far) Russian World War II actioner Stalingrad in 300 IMAX screens. Oh, and as discussed on Friday, Paramount is releasing a 95% new version of Anchorman 2 into 1,000 theaters. It’s going to be a very busy weekend at the movies.

Here, courtesy of Rentrak, is a top-ten list for the weekend.












Lego Movie, The WB









3 Days To Kill REL









Pompeii SNY









RoboCop SNY









Monuments Men SNY









About Last Night SNY









Ride Along UNI









Frozen DIS









Endless Love UNI









Winter’s Tale WB








Source: Forbes Business


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