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Despite predictions to the contrary, this weekend’s box office fortunes were something of a bust.


Case in point: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which took in an estimated $34.4 million in its opening frame, a sharp drop from expectations heading into the weekend. Meanwhile, the other three wide openers – What Men Want, Cold Pursuit, and The Prodigy – debuted to mixed results.


It may have finished in first place, but The LEGO Movie 2‘s opening gross (which doesn’t include $600K from a special pre-release screening back in January) counts as a major disappointment for Warner Bros, which saw the first LEGO Movie debut to an impressive $69 million in 2014. While no one expected the sequel to open quite that high, even the studio’s conservative expectations had the follow-up coming in between $50 and $55 million, or roughly what The LEGO Batman Movie managed in its opening frame back in 2017 ($53 million). Sadly, despite coming in with strong reviews (it currently sits at an 84% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and debuting during a non-competitive period for family-oriented films in general, the sequel couldn’t get anywhere close to that range. So what happened?


One possible explanation for LEGO 2‘s underperformance is that fact that the franchise in general has been on a downward trend since the first installment racked up $257.7 million in North America five years ago. Though The LEGO Batman Movie still managed a solid $175.7 million domestic total, The LEGO Ninjago Movie debuted to just $20.4 million in September 2017 and finished with a lackluster $59.2 million domestically, making it the franchise’s first bona fide disappointment. That film also was the first of the series to garner less-than-fawning reviews, finishing with an average of just 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. According to Cinemascore, it was also the least-liked installment among moviegoers, earning a “B+” grade from opening-night audiences (as opposed to an “A” and an “A-” for The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, respectively) and a mere 46% Audience Score on Flixster (versus 87% and 80% for The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie).


At the very least, audiences seem to be liking The LEGO Movie 2 considerably more than they did Ninjago. Its Cinemascore is an “A-” while its Flixster Audience Score is an encouraging 84%, meaning those who have seen the film seem to have enjoyed it. If word-of-mouth can overcome apparent burnout from audiences on the LEGO franchise in general, it could enjoy strong legs in the weeks ahead – or at least until the release of Universal’s highly-anticipated animated threequel How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on February 22. Also on the bright side, it should enjoy a nice boost next weekend thanks to the President’s Day holiday.


Coming in second place was Paramount’s What Men Want, a spiritual sequel to Nancy Meyers’ smash-hit comedy What Women Want starring Mel Gibson. Starring Taraji P. Henson as a woman who can suddenly hear what men are thinking, the film debuted with an estimated $19 million, roughly in line (or perhaps a tad below) expectations. Working in the film’s favor was both Henson’s starpower, a recognizable brand for older audiences (the previous film debuted back in 2000), and a strong appeal with older women, who have been largely neglected so far in terms of the year’s theatrical offerings. While reviews were only so-so (it has a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes), comedies in general tend to be somewhat more critic-proof than other genres (though a “Fresh” score could conceivably have helped the film edge a bit higher). Nonetheless, this is a good-enough debut for a film budgeted at a reported $20 million and a further illustration of Henson’s pull as a leading actress.


Third place went to Lionsgate’s release of Summit Entertainment’s Cold Pursuit, the Liam Neeson actioner about a snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the drug dealers he believes killed his son. With an estimated $10.8 million opening, the film finished roughly in line with expectations this weekend, though its debut certainly fell on the low end of the star’s string of action films over the last decade (Taken 2 being the high point with an opening of $49.5 million back in October 2012). This one finished closer to last year’s The Commuter ($13.7 million opening, $36.3 million final) and 2015’s Run All Night ($11 million opening, $26.4 million final), though with considerably stronger reviews than those last couple of titles, it could conceivably enjoy stronger holds in the coming weeks. Still, in general it’s been a case of diminishing returns for these types of Neeson vehicles since his Taken heyday, with openings in the low teen millions now a far more typical result.


Fourth and fifth went to holdovers The Upside and Glass, which grossed an estimated $7.2 million and $6.4 million, respectively. The Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston drama posted another strong hold, dipping just 17% from last weekend and now boasting a hefty $85.8 million after five weeks. Glass, meanwhile, dropped four spots after finishing in first over the prior three weekends. The M. Night Shyamlan superhero thriller now stands at $98.5 million after four weeks of release.


Just missing the Top 5 was the weekend’s other new wide release The Prodigy, which took in an estimated $6 million from 2,530 locations in sixth place. The horror film starring Taylor Schilling comes from Orion Pictures, which is still gaining its footing after recently being revived as a standalone brand by its parent company MGM. Given its reported $6 million budget, this certainly isn’t a terrible result for the film, putting it in similar territory to The Possession of Hannah Grace, which debuted with $6.4 million back in November and finished with $14.8 million in North America.


Seventh place went to that old standby Green Book, which eased just 17% to an estimated $3.5 million in its thirteenth weekend of release. The Universal drama and Best Picture nominee currently has $61.5 million in the bank.


Eighth and ninth went to superhero holdovers Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which brought in an estimated $3.3 million and $3 million after eight and nine weeks of release, respectively. With $328.5 million, the former title has now officially surpassed the lifetime gross of DCEU stablemate Suicide Squad ($325.1 million total) and will soon surpass Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s $330.3 million total to become the second highest-grossing DCEU title in North America after Wonder Woman ($412.5 million). Spider-Verse, meanwhile, has a robust $179.8 million total.


Rounding out the Top 10 was Sony’s Miss Bala, which tumbled 59% to an estimated $2.7 million in its second weekend of release. The drama-thriller starring Gina Rodriguez now has $11.8 million after ten days.


Overseas Update:


The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part brought in an estimated $18 million in 63 overseas markets, giving it a worldwide debut of $52.4 million.


Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel grossed an estimated $32 million in its overseas debut in 11 markets, leading with South Korea at $10.9 million. The James Cameron-produced sci-fi epic opens in North America next weekend and in China on February 22.


Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World opened in an additional six markets this weekend and brought in an estimated $38.2 million, bringing its overseas total to $138.7 million ahead of its North American launch on February 22. It opens in China on March 1.



Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, FEB. 8 – SUN, FEB. 10


WIDE (1000+)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND

LOCATIONS

AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
$34,400,000

4,303

$7,994
$34,400,000
3
Warner Bros.


2
What Men Want
$19,000,000

2,912

$6,525
$19,000,000
1
Paramount


3
Cold Pursuit
$10,800,000

2,630

$4,106
$10,800,000
1
Lionsgate / Summit


4
The Upside
$7,220,000
-17%
3,372
-196
$2,141
$85,800,366
5
STX Entertainment


5
Glass
$6,420,000
-33%
3,254
-411
$1,973
$98,474,580
4
Universal


6
The Prodigy
$6,004,403

2,530

$2,373
$6,004,403
1
Orion Pictures


7
Green Book
$3,570,000
-18%
2,149
-499
$1,661
$61,504,776
13
Universal Pictures


8
Aquaman
$3,300,000
-32%
2,202
-724
$1,499
$328,547,042
9
Warner Bros.


9
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
$3,040,000
-33%
1,726
-508
$1,761
$179,821,627
9
Sony / Columbia


10
Miss Bala
$2,725,000
-60%
2,203
0
$1,237
$11,865,096
2
Sony Pictures


11
A Dog’s Way Home
$1,950,000
-46%
2,009
-953
$971
$38,928,019
5
Sony Pictures


12
Escape Room
$1,650,000
-43%
1,339
-603
$1,232
$54,690,233
6
Sony Pictures


13
The Kid Who Would Be King
$1,500,000
-65%
1,846
-1682
$813
$15,714,805
3
20th Century Fox





LIMITED (100 — 999)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND

LOCATIONS

AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
They Shall Not Grow Old
$1,670,000
-32%
827
92
$2,019
$13,562,516
8
Warner Bros.


2
Bohemian Rhapsody
$1,300,000
-28%
839
-525
$1,549
$210,564,432
15
20th Century Fox


3
Bumblebee
$860,000
-55%
976
-805
$881
$125,765,470
8
Paramount Pictures


4
The Favourite
$800,000
-49%
605
-949
$1,322
$30,200,041
12
Fox Searchlight


5
Mary Poppins Returns
$762,000
-63%
842
-862
$905
$169,695,344
8
Disney


6
Vice
$645,657
-43%
707
-630
$913
$45,215,710
7
Annapurna


7
A Star is Born
$550,000
-38%
456
-496
$1,206
$208,735,869
19
Warner Bros.


8
Cold War
$500,859
-5%
270
53
$1,855
$2,882,559
8
Amazon Studios


9
The Mule
$470,000
-48%
503
-548
$934
$102,622,904
9
Warner Bros.


10
Stan & Ollie
$450,827
-40%
352
-402
$1,281
$4,323,793
7
Sony Pictures Classics


11
Ralph Breaks the Internet
$355,000
-53%
398
-397
$892
$197,585,984
12
Disney


12
Free Solo
$307,200
-76%
153
-330
$2,008
$15,915,210
20
National Geographic Entertainment


13
If Beale Street Could Talk
$274,477
-44%
266
-188
$1,032
$13,769,884
9
Annapurna


14
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
$250,000
-59%
193
0
$1,295
$1,040,595
2
FIP


15
Serenity
$125,000
-93%
283
-2278
$442
$8,446,614
3
Aviron Pictures


16
Destroyer
$77,645
-69%
144
-91
$539
$1,450,952
7
Annapurna Pictures


17
Second Act
$70,000
-83%
127
-1123
$551
$39,203,344
9
STX Entertainment





PLATFORM (1 — 99)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND

LOCATIONS

AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
Capernaum
$140,773
19%
63
16
$2,234
$734,063
9
Sony Pictures Classics


2
The Wife
$100,015
-29%
99
-103
$1,010
$9,101,062
26
Sony Pictures Classics


3
Arctic
$82,619
62%
15
11
$5,508
$149,527
2
Bleecker Street


4
Everybody Knows
$75,000

4

$18,750
$75,000
1
Focus Features


5
Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year
$70,000

67

$1,045
$70,000
1
STX Entertainment


5
Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year
$70,000

67

$1,045
$70,000
1
STX Entertainment


7
Never Look Away
$40,465
111%
3
1
$13,488
$109,438
3
Sony Pictures Classics


8
The Invisibles
$36,000
0%
18
4
$2,000
$120,428
3
Greenwich Entertainment


9
Perfect Strangers
$32,500
-4%
83
46
$392
$1,000,870
5
Lionsgate / Pantelion Films


10
Lords of Chaos
$28,086

4

$7,022
$28,086
1
Gunpowder & Sky


11
Replicas
$8,400
-50%
29
-22
$290
$4,037,541
5
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures


12
To Dust
$8,400

1

$8,400
$8,400
1
Good Deed Entertainment



The post Studio Weekend Estimates: LEGO Movie 2 Underperforms w/ $34.4M; What Men Want Laughs Up $19M; Cold Pursuit Chases Down $10.8M appeared first on BoxOffice Pro.




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