Sunday, February 9, 2014

"The LEGO Movie" dominates with $69.1 million, while "The Monuments Men" is strong at weekend box office

After a strong January led by breakout hits Ride Along and Lone Survivor, the 2014 box office is off to a great start and it got even better this weekend with The LEGO Movie. The animated film from Warner Bros. grossed $69.1 million this weekend, which is quite spectacular. That's the second highest February opening of all time and the eleventh highest animated opening of all time. That's higher than Frozen's opening, which was a massive holiday season hit. In addition, The LEGO Movie's opening was much higher than Warner Bros.' projections which were in the $40 million range. With fantastic reviews (read my "A+" review of the film here), little direct competition and an "A" Cinemascore from audiences, you can count on The LEGO Movie being around for a while.

The Monuments Men also had a strong opening this weekend as the film finished in second place with $22.7 million. That's a solid opening for the historical drama. The Monuments Men's opening was stronger than the opening weekend of Argo but a little bit less than Captain Phillips' opening. The drama received a "B+" Cinemascore, which is pretty good. But with weak reviews (33% on Rotten Tomatoes), it will be interesting to see how high this film goes. In third place was Universal's hit comedy Ride Along. The buddy cop film grossed $9.3 million which was enough to raise the film's total to $105.1 million. The film has had good legs and a strong run so far, so I'm betting that it ends up with around $130 million.

Despite The LEGO Movie's direct competition, Frozen continued to have a strong run this weekend in fourth place with $6.9 million. Frozen has now grossed $368.6 million and is closing in on $1 billion worldwide. It is also now the third-highest grossing film of 2013. In fifth place was That Awkward Moment with $5.5 million. The comedy had a decent hold and has now grossed $16.8 million. Still, That Awkward Moment has been a bit of a disappointment at the box office.

Lone Survivor finished in sixth place this weekend with $5.2 million. The surprise war hit has now grossed $112.5 million and could reach a total gross of $125 million. It has slowed in recent weeks, but Lone Survivor is still a hit. The other wide release of the weekend was The Weinstein Company's Vampire Academy. The YA adaptation did not screen for critics and grossed only $4.1 million in seventh place. That's a weak start for the film and with a "B-" Cinemascore, this film is not going anywhere. Add Vampire Academy to the list of failed YA films along with Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments and The Host. Studios should really stop making these movies.

The Nut Job took a big hit this weekend as it fell to eighth place with $3.8 million. Open Road's animated comedy took a hit from The LEGO Movie obviously. The film has now grossed $55 million. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit finished in ninth place with $3.6 million this weekend. The action film has now grossed $44.4 million, which is pretty bad. And finally, Labor Day rounded out the top ten with $3.2 million. The romantic drama has now grossed $10.1 million.

Next weekend sees the release of RoboCop, About Last Night, Endless Love and Winter's Tale. Here are my predictions for the three and four day weekend.

1. The LEGO Movie- $41.4 million (Three-Day), $50.4 million (Four-Day)
2. About Last Night- $29.1 million (Three-Day), $41.3 million (Four-Day)
3. RoboCop- $25.7 million (Three-Day), $34.1 million (Four-Day)
4. The Monuments Men- $12.4 million (Three-Day), $17.5 million (Four-Day)
5. Endless Love- $11.4 million (Three-Day), $16.6 million (Four-Day)
6. Winter's Tale- $10.9 million (Three-Day), $15.9 million (Four-Day)
7. Ride Along- $6.4 million (Three-Day), $9.3 million (Four-Day)
8. Frozen- $6.3 million (Three-Day), $9 million (Four-Day)
9. That Awkward Moment- $3.1 million (Three-Day), $4.5 million (Four-Day)
10. Lone Survivor- $2.8 million (Three-Day), $4.1 million (Four-Day)

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