Weekend Box Office: THE LEGO MOVIE Stays Locked in Place; ABOUT LAST NIGHT Tops ROBOCOP Remake

     February 16, 2014

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The LEGO Movie had no trouble retaining first place on its second weekend in theatres, despite pressure from four new releases.  Three of the four newcomers trace their origins back to the 1980s, though only one distinguished itself at the box office.  About Last Night took second place, topping its fellow 80s alums Robocop and Endless Love.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The LEGO Movie $48,800,000 $129.1
2.  About Last Night $27,000,000 $27
3.  Robocop $21,500,000 $26.4
4.  The Monuments Men $15,000,000 $43.6
5.  Endless Love $13,380,000 $13.3
6.  Ride Along $8,759,000 $116.3
7.  Winter’s Tale $7,785,000 $7.78
8.  Frozen $5,855,000 $376
9.  Lone Survivor $4,076,000 $118.4
10.  That Awkward Moment $3,337,000 $21.4

about_last_night_posterFor the first time since 2010, Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend – the President’s Day holiday weekend, to be exact.  The double holiday pushed grosses up by approximately 25% over last year, when A Good Day to Die Hard topped the chart with $24.8 million.  Much of that gain can be attributed to The LEGO Movie, which followed its stellar debut last weekend with a stellar hold of -29% in its sophomore frame.  The Warner Bros. hit crossed the $100 million mark in the US on Saturday and will expand its international run with a UK debut this weekend.

The superb performance of The LEGO Movie was not the only big story this President’s Day weekend.  Also opening strong was the romantic comedy About Last Night, starring comedian Kevin Hart.  Loosely based on the 1986 movie featuring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, About Last Night opened with $27 million from 2,253 locations  – not far below the original film’s total domestic gross.  About Last Night is expected to bring in over $30 million through Monday’s holiday – well above Sony’s own projection of $25 million for the four-day frame.  Meanwhile, Kevin Hart’s other big hit, Ride Along, remained a top ten presence in its fifth week, stretching its worldwide total to almost $120 million from a budget of just $25 million.

robocop-remake-posterThird place went to Robocop, which got off to a less than auspicious start on Wednesday thanks (in part) to an East Coast snowstorm.  The remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic earned an estimated $21.5 million on its debut weekend, or a total of $26.4 million from 3,372 venues in its first five days.  That’s behind the $25.5 million debut of Sony’s last Verhoeven reboot, Total Recall, from August 2012.  The latter went on to earn a disappointing $58.8 million in North America and $198 million worldwide – from a budget of $125 million.  The new Robocop had a budget of $100 million before marketing and a PG-13 rating that was supposed to widen its appeal beyond the hard-R of the original.  That looks like a long shot at this point, based on the fact that About Last Night opened higher with 1,200 fewer locations.

The last of this weekend’s 1980s remakes was Endless Love – a minor hit for Universal in 1981 remembered today mainly for its chart-topping theme song.  With an assist from Valentine’s Day, the Endless Love redux brought in a strong $7.3 million on Friday – more than half of the film’s $13.3 million weekend estimate.  Considering the film’s tragic 14% Rotten Tomato rating, that’s not too bad.  Of course, it’s not nearly as strong as the $21.4 million debut of Safe Haven – last year’s big V-day date pic.

Then again, things could have been worse.  Endless Love could have suffered the fate of Winter’s Tale.  Warner Bros.’ romantic drama starring Colin Farrell was expected to be the weekend’s big loser and it did not disappoint.  Winter’s Tale took in just $7.7 million from 2,965 locations, which was just a bit higher than Beautiful Creatures – WB’s big disappointment from the same weekend in 2013 – earned from its debut.

The weekend’s overall box office topped $175 million, marking the highest three-day President’s Day weekend since 2010, when Valentine’s Day led the double holiday to an all-time record.  With no holiday to drive attendance, next weekend promises to be far less lucrative.  3 Days to Kill and Pompeii both open nationwide, but neither is expected to top $10 million.  That should leave The LEGO Movie on top for a third straight weekend – the fourth film to three-peat (along with Gravity, The Hobbit 2 and Ride Along) since October.

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