Box Office: Lego Movie Repeats, But About Last Night Opens Strong

Options were slim for a Valentine’s Day outing to the movies. In terms of newcomers it was a choice of picking the best ’80s remake (Endless Love, RoboCop, About Last Night) or seeing if Colin Farrell would fizzle once again as a leading man (Winter’s Tale). Of the ’80s movies two out of three I could pick out of a box office line-up, but for most audiences it would probably be RoboCop as the most easily identifiable property.

Nevertheless, by the end of the weekend it didn’t matter. The Lego Movie blocked the newcomers from getting to that number one spot. It took home a healthy $48 million, which is a minimal drop from its $69 million opening last weekend. Most movies would kill to have $48 million after two weekends let alone one.

As I wrote last weekend, The Lego Movie could be in the Top 5 well into March due to a lack of family features competing for box office earnings. Scoring a strong second place opening was the About Last Night remake with $27 million. Yet, I’m betting most audiences who picked to see this wasn’t due to ’80s nostalgia. Prior to be a film it was an award-winning play penned by David Mamet and called “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” This time around the location is switched to Los Angeles and the cast is comprised of black actors. But know this. By no means is this strictly an African-American movie. The make-up of most crowds may have leaned to African-American, but both myself and Scott Sawitz (who reviewed it) saw it and dug it quite a bit. That’s on account of the combination of director Steve Pink, who previously wrote the John Cusack comedies Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. Leslye Headland who penned this update may have made the less than stellar comedy The Bachelorette (though it was a VOD hit), but her screenplay fires on all cylinders.

Kevin Hart, who gets top billing, must be on cloud 9. He’s already been in one hit already this year with Ride Along (it’s still in the top 10 at number six with a total domestic gross of $116 million), but I’d be more inclined to revisit this relationship comedy than I would that buddy cop comedy misfire.

Taking the bronze was the tepid RoboCop (check out my review) with an estimated $21.5 million. Apparently audiences didn’t care that much about seeing Detroit in 2028 or the need for a shiny/new RoboCop. Considering its watered down PG-13 and director Jose Padhila being hamstrung by studio execs with Sony Pictures to deliver the picture they wanted, I don’t blame its performance. Which is sad because it had a very talented cast with the likes of Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson.

On the bright side, RoboCop didn’t crash and burn like Warner Bros. fantasy romance Winter’s Tale. The latest Colin Farrell starring vehicle opened with $7.7 million. Not even the likes of Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in the picture could entice couples. For first-time director Akiva Goldsman, he may want to rethink about directing his own screenplay adaptations. He’s already loathed in the comic book community for writing Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Yet he won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. Go figure.

George Clooney’s The Monuments Men is still serving the over 35-year-old crowd, as it added another $15 million to its total to bring it to $43.6 million. Still a long way to go if its going to make its production budget ($70 million) and P&A costs back. Films that don’t have to worry about that include Frozen and Lone Survivor which remain the longest performers in the top 10 of the current line-up. The animated hit has reached $955 million worldwide and should top over one billion in a few weeks. As for Peter Berg’s military docudrama it has accumulated $118 million domestic versus a $40 million budget. As comparison, Berg’s last film, Battleship cost a reported $209 million and made only $65 million in the US (overseas, though, it added another $237 million to its total).

Box Office results below.

1. The Lego Movie (Warner Bros.) – $48,810,000 ($129,113,000)
2. About Last Night – 2014 (Screen Gems) – $27,000,000
3. RoboCop – 2014 (Sony Pictures) – $21,500,000
4. The Monuments Men (Sony Pictures/20th Century Fox) – $15,000,000 ($43,670,000)
5. Endless Love (Universal) – $13,380,000
6. Ride Along (Universal) – $8,759,000 ($116,133,000)
7. Winter’s Tale (Warner Bros.) – $7,785,000
8. Frozen (Buena Vista) – $5,855,000 ($376,046,000)
9. Lone Survivor (Universal) – $4,076,000 ($118,402,000)
10. That Awkward Moment (Focus Features) – $3,337,000 ($21,400,000)

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