All the right conditions existed this weekend for
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part to be a huge hit. Critics
loved it (84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and so have audiences (A-
Cinemascore). Moviegoers have been starved for a big new release
since the holidays; the last two weekends haven’t even seen a
major release; and there hasn’t been a major film directed at
families with kids since Mary Poppins over the holidays. Coming off
the hugely successful and beloved The LEGO Movie five years ago,
The Second Part should have been a shoe-in for $50 million at the
Unfortunately, it came in at a tepid $34.4 million, well below
expectations. That’s less than half the opening weekend of the
original ($69 million), and considerably less than the $53 million
opening of The LEGO Batman Movie, although it did fare better than
the $20 million opening of The LEGO Ninjago Movie. So what gives?
Why the disappointing box office? Most box-office pundits suggests
oversaturation — that four LEGO movies in five years was just too
much. That may be true. It may also be a general malaise with
moviegoing overall — without any huge new releases outside of the
disappointing Glass this year, moviegoers may have temporarily fell
out of the habit of going to theaters. Or, perhaps, parents are
waiting until school winter breaks to make their way to see The
LEGO Movie 2. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong here —
it’s a real head scratcher.
Over-saturation may have been a problem — it’s what many
pinned on the middling box-office numbers for Solo: A Star Wars
Story — but then again, Marvel churns out two or three movies a
year, and those movies continue to put up record-breaking numbers.
I think it may just be that the novelty on LEGO movies wore out,
that the first one was special, but moviegoers weren’t as
interested in seeing another one, no matter how good it may have
In either respect, it’s a big disappointment for Warner Brothers,
although I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss The LEGO Movie 2. It
has a couple of weeks and a lot of school winter breaks to pick up
the pace before How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World arrives
in two weeks and we find out whether the interest in that franchise
has waned, as well.
Meanwhile, the news was much better for Paramount’s What
Men Want, the gender-swapped remake of Mel Gibson’s What
Women Want. The Taraji P. Henson comedy was very well liked by
audiences and not hated by critics (47 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).
It managed to earn a very respectable $18.6 million opening off of
a $20 million budget. It’s not a gigantic box-office hit, but it
represents something of a rebound for Henson, whose Proud Mary
opened in January of last year with a less than great $9.9
Elsewhere, Liam Neeson had a very
bad week in the press (and he pulled Michelle
Rodriguez down with him), but it doesn’t look like it hurt
the box office for his action movie
Cold Pursuit. It scored $10.8 million, which sounds about
right, reflecting a growing disinterest in Neeson’s revenge
flicks in America — The Commuter opened with $13 million, and Run
All Night opened with $11 million. Both of those films (like most
Neeson revenge flicks) do much better overseas, and I expect that
Cold Pursuit will crawl its way toward the break-even point once
international grosses are taken into account.
In either respect, Cold Pursuit still fared significantly better
than the fourth new movie of the weekend, Orion’s horror flick,
Prodigy, which made a paltry $6 million. Critics didn’t hate
it, either (45 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but the film didn’t
give audiences anything new to get excited about. It’s a very
run-of-the-mill evil kid movie with a slight wrinkle: The kid is
also a genius. No matter! The Prodigy only cost $6 million to make,
so no one will lose their shirt over this one.
The rest of the top ten were holdovers, most of which have been
around for weeks. The Upside, the sleeper hit of the year, so far,
took in another $7.2 to bring its total to $85 million, as it eyes
a possible $100 million before vacating theaters. With $6.3 million
and $98 million overall, M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass has nearly
crossed the century mark.
The Oscar frontrunner The Green Book
took in another $3.5 million and has now earned $61 million after
13 weeks at the box office. Aquaman,
in its eighth week, earned $3.2 million and has now earned $328
million. Ninth place goes to
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which earned $2.8 million in
its ninth week to bring its total to $179.5 million. Finally, Miss
Bala rounds out the top ten with $2.5 million in its second week.
It’s earned $11.6 million, so far.
I’m not entirely sure that the box-office fortunes will turn
around next weekend. Alita: Battle Angel, which cost $170 million
to produce, opens on Thursday, and it has box-office flop written
all over it. Rebel Wilson will try to collect some Valentine’s
Day receipts with the rom-com Isn’t It Romantic, while Blumhouse
trots out Happy Death Day 2U, a sequel to the modestly successful
Happy Death Day. It looks like Dwayne Johnson’s Fighting with My
Family (directed by Stephen Merchant) won’t get a major roll-out
next weekend, but the Paige biopic
looks like a lot of fun.
Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News 2
Weekend Box Office: Everything Is Decidedly Not Awesome For ‘The Lego Movie 2’