Emmet and his master builder pals from The Lego Movie are in the process of topping the North American box for the third consecutive weekend as all demographics flock to the cinema to see what all the buzz is about. Lego’s meteoric rise to box office stardom has forced Warner Brothers’ hand to quickly lock in a release date for the inevitable sequel during a future prime movie-going weekend.
Earlier today Warner Bros. formally announced that The Lego Movie sequel would arrive in theaters on May 26, 2017, i.e. Memorial Day weekend. At over three years away that is a surprisingly long gap between films. Then again, concrete plans for a sequel only took hold after the huge opening weekend of The Lego Movie and there’s still much to iron out, including scheduling for all the talent involved.
The Lego Movie earned nearly $60 million during its opening weekend, a February box office record. Since then it has grossed $151.7 million in North America and just shy of $203 million worldwide. Despite the arrival of Pompeii and Three Days to Kill, The Lego Movie should come out on top again at the box office with somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million.
Momentum for The Lego Movie began to pick up steam in the week heading up to its release. Estimates made roughly seven days from its opening day were suggesting a $30 million opening. As the estimates quickly climbed, Warner Bros. tapped writers Jared Stern and Michelle Morgan to start work on a sequel four days prior to release.
Stern is best known for writing Mr. Popper’s Penguins and part of a core group at Warner Bros. animation “assembled” to turn around the division and crank out high quality animated features. The Lego Movie is the first film released under the reorganization, which is off to as good a start as Warner Bros. could have possibly hoped for.
Though it’s still too early to know for sure, Warner Bros. is expected to bring back the voice talent from the original including Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Nick Offerman, Morgan Freeman and Alison Brie. Pratt may demand a significantly higher salary considering his upcoming turn in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy as well as starring in Jurassic Park 4.
Warner Bros. spent approximately $60 million to produce The Lego Movie. The big returns should provide the studio ammunition to bump the budget for the sequel.
Next up for The Lego Movie is the $250 million worldwide mark, which will be reached by mid-next week at the latest, followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release date that should land somewhere in May.