'LEGO Movie 2' Debuts with Weaker Than Expected, $34M Opening
by Brad Brevet
February 10, 2019
The weekend didn't turn out to be quite as big as expected, thanks mostly due to a severe underperformance from Warner Bros.'s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which debuted approximately $20 million below expectations as franchise fatigue seems to have settled in rather quickly. Otherwise, the rest of the weekend's new releases fell, for the most part, within expectations with What Men Want finishing in the runner-up position followed by Lionsgate's release of Summit's Cold Pursuit while Orion's The Prodigy fell just a bit outside industry expectations.
At the top of the box office, Warner Bros.'s The LEGO Movie 2 brought in an estimated $34.4 million, falling well short of the anticipated $50-55 million the studio was anticipating heading into the weekend. The performance is also well below the $69 million the first film opened with back in February 2014 as well as below the $53 million opening for The LEGO Batman Movie in February 2017. That same year WB debuted a second LEGO feature in The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which opened with a franchise low, $20.4 million in September 2017. The dwindling returns for the films in this franchise suggests the studio jumped the gun with so many spin-offs before actually establishing the overall series.
That said, critics have given three of the four films (Ninjago excluded) top marks, with those three declared "Certified Fresh" on RottenTomatoes and the same going for audience response on those same three films. Audiences gave LEGO 2 an "A-" CinemaScore, matching the same score for LEGO Batman, though the films have been trending increasingly male with LEGO 2 playing to an audience that was 57% male, the largest gender discrepancy among all four films so far. Overall, however, ancillaries should most likely remain high with LEGO 2 suggesting this is far from the end of the franchise, and WB may simply need to change tact looking ahead.
Internationally, LEGO 2 brought in an estimated $18.1 million from 63 overseas markets. Comparatively, the first LEGO Movie brought in $18.4 million in its first weekend from ~30 fewer markets. As for the sequel's performance, the UK led the way with $5.3 million followed by Russia ($1.7m), Poland ($1.3m), Germany ($1.1m), Spain ($830k), Brazil ($707k), the Netherlands ($622k) and South Korea ($500k). The film will open in Mexico on February 14 followed by openings in France (Feb 20), Italy (Feb 21) and Australia (Mar 21).
Paramount's What Women Want came in smack dab in the middle of studio expectations, debuting with an estimated $19 million from 2,912 locations. The film entered the weekend with relatively weak reviews — 47% on RottenTomatoes and 51 on Metacritic — and audiences seem to have agreed based on a 49% audience score at RottenTomatoes and a very weak, 3.6/10 on IMDb. That said, the film's CinemaScore was still an "A-", matching the likes of Night School, which pulled off a 2.83x multiplier, which would mean a $53 million run for What Men Want on a reported $20 million budget should it enjoy a similar run.
Lionsgate's release of Summit's Cold Pursuit slightly exceeded expectations with an $10.8 million opening from 2,630 locations. The film played to an opening weekend crowd that was 58% male with 79% of the overall audience coming in aged 25 or older, playing to similar demographics to that of star Liam Neeson's The Commuter, which opened last January with $13.7 million and went on to gross over $36 million. A similar run for Cold Pursuit would have it ending its run just shy of $30 million domestic. The film received a "B-" CinemaScore.
In fourth is STXFilms's The Upside, continuing its strong week-over-week performance, this time dipping just -17% compared to last weekend with an estimated $7.2 million and a domestic cume that now stands at $85.8 million, well on its way to a $100 million domestic run. The film has also brought in $8.9 million internationally so far, boosting its worldwide cume to $94.7 million.
Rounding out the top five is Universal's Glass with an estimated $5.8 million for a domestic cume that now totals $98.4 million. The film also added $6.6 million internationally this weekend for an overseas cume that now totals $123 million, pushing its global cume over $221 million.
Finishing outside the top five is Orion's release of the horror thriller The Prodigy, which debuted in 2,530 locations with an estimated $6 million. The performance is short of the $7-9 million the studio was anticipating heading into the weekend, but with a $6 million budget the film should break even easily enough, though weak reviews and a relatively poor audience response means it won't be sticking around too long. Overall, the film played to an audience that was 54% male with 61% of the crowd coming in aged 25 or older. The film received a "C+" CinemaScore.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Universal's Green Book added $3.56 million domestically for a cume totaling $61.5 million while Lionsgate's and Amblin's release of the film overseas added an additional $11.4 million internationally this weekend for a worldwide cume topping $106 million for the Oscar contender.
In limited release Focus Features's Everybody Knows, starring Javier Bardem and PenÚlope Cruz, opened in four locations in New York and Los Angeles with an estimated $75,000 ($18,750 PTA). Additionally, Magnolia released the 2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films in 265 theaters, the widest release ever in the distributor's 14 years of releasing the shorts and the result was the largest debut, coming in at an estimated $912,000 ($3,442 PTA).
Additional limited releases include Gunpowder & Sky's Lords of Chaos, which opened in four theaters with an estimated $28,086 ($7,021 PTA); Good Deed's To Dust opened with $8,400 in one theater; and STX released Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year in 67 locations with an estimated $70,000 ($1,045 PTA) for a $127,195 cume since debuting on Wednesday.
Next weekend sees the release of the Blumhouse sequel Happy Death Day 2U, which Universal will debut in ~3,000 locations and WB's release of New Line's Isn't It Romantic with Rebel Wilson, opening in 3,300+ theaters.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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