That clicking sound you hear is all the pieces finally coming together to launch The Lego Movie as a viable franchise for Warner Bros. Off the back of healthy early feedback and box office tracking, the studio has thrown a sequel into development and now, given the film’s huge success at the box office, we’d expect that to hit the fast track. Smashing expectations (which had it just crossing $40 million), the ‘toon surfed great reviews and stellar word of mouth to $69.1 million in the US in its first weekend.
Given the film’s reported $60 million production budget, it’s already made that back and appears set for a healthy run at the box office. Its nearest competitor this weekend, George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, also did better than expected, with a solid $22.7 million opening after moving away from awards season to give the co-/writer/director/star more time to finish it. The results show that older audiences decided to see the film, which seems to have worked as counter-programming to the family appeal of Lego.
Cop comedy Ride Along was pushed down to third place, making $9.3 million and nudging over $100 million this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see whether Kevin Hart’s audience switches over to the About Last Night remake, which lands on Valentine’s Day next week.
In fourth, Frozen continued its run of astonishing earning power, staying in the top five with $6.9 million despite 12 weeks on release and making more than $912 million worldwide. With some territories still to open, it has a shot at scraping $1 billion, though will likely remain just below that as it starts to arrive on home entertainment formats. Unless, of course, Disney rolls out the Singalong versions more widely and keeps it on screens until it crosses that threshhold just for extra bragging rights. In fifth, That Awkward Moment took a hit, earning $5.5 million.
Lone Survivor was down to sixth place, taking in $5.2 million, which was still better than Vampire Academy. The film, adapted from Richelle Mead’s young adult book series, appears headed into even choppier waters than The Mortal Instruments, earning just $4.1 million despite a fervent fan base. Still, given that the Instruments team is still working on the sequel, the bar appears considerably lower for franchise status these days.
The Nut Job took a predictable hit from Lego’s fresh zaniness, and was pushed down to eighth with $3.8 million. At Ninth, we find Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ($3.6 million), with Labor Day dropping to 10th and $3.2 million.
For all the assembled figures, head to Box Office Mojo.