This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows the character Lucy/Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, in a scene from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No. 1 but everything is not awesome

Some say oversaturation could be to blame

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” was easily the top ticket-seller in theatres over the weekend, but the film’s $35 million opening failed to stack up to its expected haul, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The animated sequel had been forecast to draw around $50 million. Instead, it debuted with half the $69 million the 2014 original did, despite good reviews and an A-minus CinemaScore.

With about a $100 million budget, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2” had been pegged as a dependable, star-studded franchise release sure to kick-start a moribund box office. But after record ticket sales last year, Hollywood’s 2019 has gotten off to such a bad beginning that the movie’s tagline of “Everything is not awesome” is looking more like accurate industry analysis.

“The expectations were certainly much higher for ‘The Lego Movie 2’ considering the success of the first installment,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “We were all hoping that this would be the weekend that got the momentum of the box office going in the right direction. We’re still waiting.”

Every weekend this year has been down from the same weekend a year ago. That’s a streak sure to continue. Next weekend, the new releases include “Happy Death Day 2U” and “Alita: Battle Angel.” What opened the same weekend last year? “Black Panther.”

“Momentum is everything at the box office,” Dergarabedian said. “And we’ve sort of lost that.”

Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell and others reprise their voice roles in “The Lego Movie 2,” while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph join the cast. Mike Mitchell directs the movie written by original writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Oversaturation could be to blame. Since the 2014 original, which grossed $469 million worldwide, Warner Bros. released two spinoffs: “The Lego Batman Movie” in 2017 and “The Lego Ninjago Movie” later the same year.

Distribution executives for Warner Bros. declined to comment on the weekend’s results.

Until now, 2019’s sluggish box office was partly blamed on lack of quality releases, with only a handful of highly promoted films from major studios. This weekend saw a relatively robust slate of releases, including Taraji P. Henson’s “What Men Want” and the Liam Neeson thriller “Cold Pursuit.” Both did solid if not spectacular business.

READ MORE: Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

READ MORE: Stan Lee’s devoted fans can mourn him at Hollywood memorial

Paramount’s “What Men Want,” a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy, debuted with $19 million. Henson plays a sports agent with the ability to hear men’s thoughts in Adam Shankman’s film, a kind of gender flip from the original. The film got poor reviews (47 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.

Lionsgate’s “Cold Pursuit” debuted with $10.8 million, a result in line with expectations despite the controversy that surrounded its star in the week leading up to release. Neeson drew heavy criticism after he acknowledged in an interview published last Monday that he wanted to kill a random black person when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man.

Neeson later appeared on “Good Morning America” to say he’s not a racist. Organizers for the New York premiere of “Cold Pursuit” cancelled the film’s red carpet.

Orion Pictures’ horror thriller “The Prodigy” also debuted, with $6 million.

China’s first big-budget space-movie spectacle “The Wandering Earth” bowed in China over the Chinese New Year holiday weekend with a staggering $172.7 million Friday to Sunday, and nearly $300 million since opening Tuesday.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” $35 million ($18.1 million international).

2. “What Men Want,” $19 million.

3. “Cold Pursuit,” $10.8 million ($2.8 million international).

4. “The Upside,” $7.2 million.

5. “Glass,” $6.4 million ($6.6 million international).

6. “The Prodigy,” $6 million ($1.1 million international).

7. “Green Book,” $3.6 million ($11.4 million international).

8. “Aquaman,” $3.3 million ($6 million international).

9. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” $3 million.

10. “Miss Bala,” $2.7 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore.

1. “The Wander Earth,” $172.7 million.

2. “Crazy Alien,” $77.7 million.

3. “Pegasus,” $52.4 million.

4. “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden

World,” $38.2 million.

5. “Alita: Battle Angel,” $32 million.

6. “Boonie Bears: Blast Into The Past,” $27.8 million.

7. “Extreme Job,” $18.2 million.

8. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” $18.1 million.

9. “The New King Of Comedy,” $14.9 million.

10. “Green Book,” $11.4 million.

___

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: British couple vacationing detained after ‘accidentally’ crossing Langley-Lynden border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read