Bloomberg News

‘Lego Movie’ Beats ’80s Reboots to Stay Atop Box Office

February 18, 2014

'The Lego Movie' Screening

Lego characters are seen at a VIP screening of "The Lego Movie" at the Vue West End in London on Feb. 9, 2014. Photographer: Dave M. Benett/WireImage via Getty Images

“The Lego Movie,” the animated film from Warner Bros. (TWX:US), held off three remakes from the 1980s to lead ticket sales in U.S. and Canada for a second week.

The movie, based on the Danish building-brick toys, collected $62.5 million for Time Warner Inc.’s studio over the U.S. Presidents Day weekend, Rentrak Corp. (RENT:US) said today in an e-mailed statement. Sony Corp. (6758)’s “About Last Night,” starring Kevin Hart, placed second with $27.8 million in its debut.

Favorable reviews and a lack of competition have buoyed “The Lego Movie,” which features characters like Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that are used as figurines by Danish toymaker Lego A/S. The film is attracting families as well as adults who grew up with the toys.

“It’s had great word of mouth and it’s really connecting with children and adults,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “It’s the kind of movie that Hollywood dreams about.”

“The Lego Movie,” made for about $60 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo, was directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, whose credits include the 2009 animated hit “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” It features the voices of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman.

The film had the best opening of 2014 last week, giving Warner Bros its first No. 1 of the year, and will probably start a new franchise for the studio, according to Contrino and Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak.

Valentine’s Day

With the Presidents Day holiday yesterday, “The Lego Movie” was projected to take in $60 million over the four days, the estimate of BoxOffice.com. It has generated $142.8 million to date in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.

“About Last Night,” one of three romantically themed movies released to take advantage of Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, is a remake of the 1986 romantic comedy that starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The new film moves to Los Angeles from Chicago and follows two couples who see their relationships tested in the real world.

Hart demonstrated his box office pull with the hit buddy-cop movie “Ride Along,’ which was No. 1 in domestic theaters for two weekends after its debut last month.

‘‘About Last Night’’ received a 75 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com and was projected to reach $26.5 million over the four-day weekend, according to Box.Office.com.

‘‘Many of the funniest parts seem to arise spontaneously from Mr. Hart’s uncensored brain and fast-moving mouth,’’ wrote critic A.O. Scott in the New York Times.

‘Endless Love’

Taking third was ‘‘RoboCop,’’ a remake of the acclaimed 1987 hit, which generated $25.1 million for Sony Corp. over the four days. The film, about a part-man, part-machine police officer, stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role, which was filled by Peter Weller in the original.

Critically injured in the line of duty, he is rebuilt by a technology conglomerate that sees the chance to profit by providing a RoboCop in every city. The movie also features Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.

‘‘RoboCop,’’ which was released on Feb. 12, got a 50 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com. It was made for $100 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and projected by BoxOffice.com to collect $28 million over four days.

Revenue from ticket sales is split between theaters and the studios, which typically shoulder marketing costs.

‘‘Endless Love,’’ from Universal Pictures, and ‘‘Winter’s Tale,’’ from Warner Bros., were the other two date movies to make their debuts in wide release.

‘Winter’s Tale’

‘‘Endless Love,’’ a reboot of the 1981 hit with Brooke Shields, took in $14.4 million to place fifth. Starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, it follows an affair between a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose parents try to thwart their relationship.

‘‘Winter’s Tale’’ is about a burglar who learns that he has the gift of reincarnation. The character, played by Colin Farrell, and seeks to bring back an heiress he is taken with and who dies in his arms. The movie collected $8 million to place eighth.

‘‘The Monuments Men,’’ a returning movie, directed, co-written and starring George Clooney, took in $17.9 million to place fourth for Sony. Set during World War II, it follows a group of aging museum directors, curators and art historians in a race to rescue art trapped behind enemy lines as the Third Reich falls.

Weekend revenue for the top 10 films rose 27 percent to $182.1 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $1.38 billion, up 10 percent from a year earlier.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for Feb. 14-17.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Livesey in San Francisco at blivesey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • TWX
    (Time Warner Inc)
    • $77.38 USD
    • 0.52
    • 0.67%
  • RENT
    (Rentrak Corp)
    • $54.91 USD
    • 2.90
    • 5.28%
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