Lego Movie Bumps Ride Along Off Top
Warner Bros. Studios’ The Lego Movie exceeded expectations in a big way last weekend (Feb. 7-9) with a first place debut of $69.05 million. That represented the second largest unadjusted opening weekend performance ever for the month of February, behind only the $83.85 million debut of 2004’s The Passion of the Christ.
The Lego Movie easily generated the largest debut ever for an animated film from Warner Bros. (the studio’s previous high-water mark for an animated film was the $41.53 million debut of 2006’s Happy Feet). A strong marketing campaign, strong pre-sales thanks in part to a large built-in fanbase, a relatively empty marketplace heading into the weekend and very strong critical reviews are all factors that helped anticipation surge for The Lego Movie in the days leading up to its release. Following in the footsteps of Frozen, family audiences are clearly still in the mood for well-received animated fare. With next weekend’s family friendly holiday frame and no new direct competition for family audiences hitting the marketplace until the release of 20th Century Fox’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman on Mar. 7, it appears to be a given that The Lego Movie will hold up well going forward.
While it debuted in a very distant second place, Sony Pictures’ The Monuments Men still performed respectably last weekend with a second place debut of $22.00 million. The George Clooney directed World War II film starring Clooney and Matt Damon debuted towards the higher end of pre-release expectations. The Monuments Men was also aided from the relatively empty marketplace heading into the weekend and was likely helped out a bit by representing Clooney’s first return to theaters after the runaway success of last year’s Gravity.
The weekend’s other new release, The Weinstein Company’s Vampire Academy opened all the way down in seventh place with a disappointing $3.92 million. The Mark Waters directed young adult adaptation marks yet another under-performer when it comes to lower profile young adult adaptations. Similarly to what occurred with Justin Bieber’s Believe back in December, a relatively high level of online chatter for Vampire Academy ultimately made absolutely no impact on the film’s grosses. With four new wide releases hitting the marketplace in the coming week, Vampire Academy won’t be around in theaters for long.
Even with the addition of The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men in the marketplace last weekend, a number of holdovers were still able to hold up well due in part to the previous weekend’s grosses being deflated by Super Bowl XLVIII. Universal Pictures’ Ride Along was the weekend’s top holdover with $9.59 million to place in third. The break-out action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube was down only 20 percent from the previous weekend and likely received an extra boost last weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch the film before Sony’s About Last Night (also starring Hart) arrives in the marketplace this coming Friday. Ride Along surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone last weekend (making it the first release of 2014 to do so) and has now grossed $105.31 million to date.
Disney’s Frozen was down a slim 23 percent from the previous weekend to place in fourth with $6.87 million. Last weekend’s hold for the computer animated blockbuster was especially impressive given the break-out performance of The Lego Movie with family audiences. Frozen has grossed a massive $368.64 million to date and has now surpassed the $368.07 million final domestic gross of Despicable Me 2 to become the third highest grossing release of 2013 domestically behind only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Iron Man 3.
Focus Features’ That Awkward Moment held up unexpectedly well in its second weekend to place in sixth with $5.24 million. The low-budget Zac Efron led comedy was down 40 percent from the previous weekend. Efron’s previous vehicles have tended to be quite front-loaded towards opening weekend, so it appears that the opening weekend of That Awkward Moment was deflated a bit by the Super Bowl. That Awkward Moment has grossed $16.55 million in 10 days, which is slightly below expectations.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||N/A||The Lego Movie||$69.05M||$69.05M||1|
|2||N/A||The Monuments Men||$22.00M||$22.00M||1|
|6||3||That Awkward Moment||$5.24M||$16.55M||2|
|8||4||The Nut Job||$3.75M||$55.03M||4|
|9||6||Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit||$3.53M||$44.40M||4|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.