'The LEGO Movie' Builds Huge $17.1 Million Start to the Weekend; 'Monuments Men' Posts $7 Million

on February 08, 2014 by Shawn Robbins
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Warner Bros. reports this morning that The LEGO Movie tallied $17.14 million (including Thursday night's $400K take) from 3,775 locations on Friday. That firmly establishes a new animated franchise for the studio and gives writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) their biggest debut yet. BoxOffice projects LEGO will earn a massive $67 million this weekend.

The keys to success? Warner Bros. brought on a talented team of filmmakers to bring one of the world's biggest toy brands to screen for the first time. The LEGO line has become a massively popular centerpiece in the world of entertainment for young people--especially through various video games and Star Wars licensing. The enduring appeal of the brand also ensured cross-generation appeal for a film that targets all ages with pop culture jokes (previously Shrek's forte) and strong reviews (over 96 percent at Rotten Tomatoes). Early word of mouth appears excellent with over 93 percent of 36,000 users approving of or still anticipating the film.

Although The LEGO Movie could have been slightly fanboy-heavy on Friday (official audience demographics haven't yet been released), the impact of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony as well as winter weather across the country could skew internal weekend holds for all films this weekend.

Including $550K on Thursday evening, George Clooney's Monuments Men earned $7 million opening day. As a director, that easily tops Leatherheads ($4.6 million) for Clooney's best opening day. BoxOffice projects the film will earn a solid $21 million this weekend. After moving out of December and awards contention, the historical war/art heist pic has been greeted with disappointing reviews (33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) but Sony's marketing department successfully pitched the film as a sort of Ocean's Eleven/Saving Private Ryan hybrid with the star-studded ensemble cast aimed at older audiences. Word of mouth doesn't appear healthy, unfortunately, as only 57 percent of nearly 35,000 users have given the movie their stamp of approval.

Universal's Ride Along added another $2.6 million to its haul yesterday, bringing the comedy's domestic tally to $98.3 million. The film will cross the $100 million threshold sometime on Saturday. BoxOffice projects a $9 million fourth weekend for the pic.

That Awkward Moment earned $1.714 million on Friday, down 57 percent from its opening day last week. Awkward's domestic total stands at $13 million. BoxOffice projects $5.2 million for its sophomore frame.

TWC's Vampire Academy had no bite with its lackluster $1.43 million Friday. That puts the film on course for $3.8 million this weekend. Seemingly aimed at teenage girls, critical reviews have been toxic (11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) while the film's advertising never really made it clear who the movie was being pitched toward. The vampire craze has clearly died off since the reign of the Twilight films. On the bright side, early word of mouth for Academy is fairly healthy with 82 percent of nearly 14,000 Flixster users approving.

Lone Survivor grabbed $1.4 million on Friday and has now amassed $108.7 million domestically. BoxOffice projects a $5 million weekend.

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris

Tags: The LEGO Movie, Monuments Men, Vampire Academy, Ride Along, Frozen, Lone Survivor
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