Monday, February 24, 2014

‘Lego’ leaves the competition far behind

Everything is indeed awesome for the makers of The Lego Movie, whose popular animated flick earned the top spot at the domestic box office for the third consecutive weekend. Easing just 37 percent, Lego grossed $31.5 million. Its overall cume now stands at $183.2 million. Unsurprisingly, Warner Bros. has already greenlit a sequel. The Lego Movie 2 is slated to hit theatres on Memorial Day 2017.

Don’t count on a follow-up to the McG-directed 3 Days to Kill, however. The actioner starring Kevin Costner took second place with an unremarkable $12.3 million. The film’s weekend gross is a little less than that which The Family, the last collaboration between writer-producer Luc Besson and Relativity Media, earned over its opening weekend this past September. Kill’s audience was an older crowd, 80 percent over the age of 25, who collectively awarded the film a B CinemaScore grade. Expectations for the movie’s total haul are pretty low: Pundits are predicting the film will earn around $30 million overall.

However, with a budget of only $28 million, at least 3 Days to Kill isn’t as large – or should we say as volcanic? – a bomb as Pompeii. It’s true, most pundits weren’t expecting much from the poorly reviewed disaster film, but Pompeii managed to underperform nonetheless.  The movie earned $10 million this weekend, a dismal debut considering its production costs topped $100 million. Pompeii’s opening weekend figure was less than half of fellow big-budget movie and box-office failure Poseidon’s debut haul, although it is slightly better than those openings enjoyed by The Legend of Hercules ($8.9 million) and I, Frankenstein ($8.6 million), both of which films were also heavily CGI-dependent. Maybe sensory overload fatigue has finally begun to set in?

Clocking in at No. 4, RoboCop earned $9.4 million, which represents a drop of 57 percent from last weekend. So far, the reboot has grossed $43.6 million.

It may not be the critics’ cup of tea, but George Clooney’s The Monuments Men continues to satisfy a sizable portion of the movie-going public. The WWII caper took in another $8.1 million this weekend, earning it the No. 5 spot and bumping its overall cume to $58 million.

The weekend after Valentine’s Day was a tough one for those releases that opened wide on the national chocolate-and-flowers holiday. About Last Night fared the best, though it still suffered a drop of 71 percent to gross $7.4 million – its total earnings currently stand at $38.2 million. Endless Love took a hit of 68 percent and has now grossed $20.1 million. Poor, misguided Winter’s Tale dipped 71 percent; its total clocks in at a little over $11 million.

Finally, the weekend’s specialty division saw a solid limited opening for Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. The nominee for Best Animated Feature took in $306,000 from 21 locations. It should continue to chart a successful course once it expands to 450 theatres this coming weekend.

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