Everything truly does seem to be awesome for The Lego Movie. Warner Brothers had been tracking the film to easily win but few expected the animated comedy to go on to have the second biggest opening weekend in the month of February. The Lego Movie destroyed the little competition it faced at the box office to gross $69.1 million in the three days. The critically acclaimed film opened up against the George Clooney film, The Monuments Men, and the adaptation of the young-adult fantasy novel Vampire Academy.
Directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, The Lego Movie becomes their third critical and commercial smash hit in as many attempts. The duo previously helmed the hits 21 Jump Street and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. The Lego Movie‘s competition destroying weekend at the box office is second to only Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ for the highest in February. The religious period piece opened to $83.8 million back in 2004. The $69.1 million opening also ranks in the top five for an animated film that’s not a sequel or a prequel. The Lego Movie is now Warner Brothers’ biggest opening animated film, far surpassing their 2006 $41.5 million opening of Happy Feet. Prior to the breakout weekend, the studio had already announced plans for a sequel with a writer currently drafting the script. The animated comedy stars the voice of Chris Pratt and cost a reported $60 million to produce.
Opening in second place and exceeding many original expectations with $22.7 million was The Monuments Men. The World War II period piece co-written, produced, directed by and starring George Clooney was released by Columbia Pictures and cost a reported $70 million to make. The film received only tepid reviews from critics but has scored a “B+” from audiences on Cinemascore. Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman also feature in the adult-oriented drama.
Opening at 2,676 locations, the adaptation of the young-adult fantasy novel Vampire Academy tanked in its first weekend. Grossing only $4.1 million over the three days. The film continues the trend of terrible openings for existing properties aimed at the young adult market. In an effort to imitate the success found in adaptations of The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter, studios have seen many films bomb at the box office. Films like The Host, Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones all failed to ignite the same spark.
After three weekends on top, Universal’s hit comedy Ride Along fell to third place behind the two new releases. Adding $9.4 million, the film starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was made for $25 million and has grossed $105.2 million after four weeks in theaters. The buddy-cop comedy is the first film released in 2014 to cross the $100 million mark.
In fourth place, Disney’s massively successful Frozen added another $6.9 million to bring its domestic total to $368.7 million. The film has passed Universal’s Despicable Me 2 as the third highest grossing animated film ever after twelve weeks in theaters. Excluding sequels, Frozen is now the top grossing animated film of all time after twelve weeks in theaters.
Zac Efron’s bromantic-comedy That Awkward Moment settled for fifth place in its second weekend. The film has earned $16.8 million off of an $8 million production budget. The comedy had only a 37% drop-off from its opening weekend.
The only new wide release to challenge The Lego Movie in its second weekend will the be PG-13 remake of Robocop. The Lego Movie quite easily destroyed all possible competition in its opening weekend at the box office and looks poised to be one of the top earners of 2014.
By Benjamin Murray