The Lego Movie Towers Above RoboCop at Weekend Box Office

The Lego Movie remained atop the box office despite powerful winter storms on the East Coast and the Olympics keeping folks glued to their TVs. The smash hit held off the solid debut of Sony’s About Last Night, the okay opening for RoboCop and the dismal openings for Universal’s Endless Love and Warner’s Winter’s Tale. With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday and President’s Day serving a three-day weekend, people were in the mood to see some movies as evidenced by the top ten’s 28% surge over a year ago and up 17% over last weekend’s group.

After opening to a massive $69 million last weekend, Warner’s animated hit The Lego Movie stayed put at number one to earn a strong $48.8 million in its sophomore session on 3,775 screens. Off a mere 29%, Lego is benefitting from strong word-of-mouth from ticket buyers and across the board appeal. After ten days, the comedy smash has earned a spectacular $129 million thus far. With school vacations kicking in and adults enjoying what they see as much as kids, the movie should continue to dominate the movie scene and roll in the money big time for the foreseeable future, all of which should help it reach the quarter-billion dollar mark by the end of its domestic run and a sizeable amount from foreign markets.

Three remakes of 1980s films opened this weekend, two ideally suited for this past Friday’s Hallmark Card holiday. The big winner of the rehash trio was Sony’s African-American version take on the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore comedy About Last Night. The $12.5 million production, which stars Kevin Hart, Regina Hall and Paul Patton, was that rare remake that was well-liked by both critics and the public. Critics gave the movie a solid 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the public bestowed it with an “A” CinemaScore rating. The public also showed the movie additional love via a big $27 million on 2,253 screens, half of which was grossed on Valentine’s Day.

Ask people which 1980s features they would like to see remade, and chances are pretty good that Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action classic RoboCop would not be one of them. Seriously, there is no reason to remake a film that had zero faults to begin with. Of course, that never stops Hollywood from warming up a beloved property, which is exactly what Sony and MGM did with their new $100 million, PG-13 rated version. Directed by Jose Padilha, the Robo reboot opened this past Wednesday on 3,372 screens to earn a mixed $26.4 million in its first five days ($21.5 million from Friday-to-Monday). Reviewers were split on the remake, which stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Abbie Cornish. They gave the movie a 49% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes while ticket buyers gave the film a “B+” CinemaScore rating. To turn a profit on their costly investment Sony and MGM will have to rely on foreign markets, which contributed $28 million this weekend.

The reviews weren’t very good on The Monuments Men when it opened last weekend, but that didn’t stop ticket buyers from seeking out the movie. In its second weekend on 3,083 screens, the George Clooney-directed feature eased a moderate 32% to earn an estimated $15 million. After ten days, the World War II-set film has earned a good $43.6 million and may work its way to $65-70 million by the end of its run.

Remake three of the weekend, Universal’s Endless Love, earned a promising $7.4 million on Valentine’s Day and then fell into a freefall from there. Reviews for the 2014 remake were as bad as the ones for 1981 Brooke Shields snooze-fest (I wonder if this one has a theme song as horrid as the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie one was). The new version was met with a 14% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes but an “A-” from those polled by CinemaScore. Normally, the latter would suggest that the movie may have a little longevity at the box office thanks to word of mouth. But the 53% drop on Saturday suggests otherwise. In its first three days of release, Endless Love romanced a weak $13.3 million from 2,896 theaters.

The fourth wide release of the weekend was another love-themed feature that was not a remake of a 1980s film but a movie based on a novel from the 1980s: Winter’s Tale. The star-studded feature stars Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe and Jessica Brown Findlay and was written and directed by Batman and Robin screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (yeah, that Batman and Robin). Winter’s Tale was eviscerated by critics and ignored by the public. Arriving on 2,965 screens, Winter’s Tale earned a dismal $7.8 million in its first three days. Under normal circumstances, Warner Brothers may voice some disappointment from such a weak opening. But with the studio currently rolling in the dough thanks to The Lego Movie, they probably didn’t even notice.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows:

6. Ride Along (Universal) $8.7 million (-9%); $116.1 million

8. Frozen (Disney) $5.8 million (-15%); $376 million

9. Lone Survivor (Universal) $4 million (-27%); $118 million

10. That Awkward Moment (Focus Features) $3.3 million (-36%); $21.4 million

Action assaults the box office next weekend with the arrival of 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii. Neither has a realistic chance of dethroning The Lego Movie from its spectacular reign.

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