Play on, indeed. As expected, the universally beloved “The Lego Movie” dominated the box office again, taking the number one spot for the third week in a row. Only dropping 36.9% from its second week, Warner Bros.’ animated juggernaut took in a healthy $31.4 million over the weekend with its domestic total now at $183.1 million. The movie has grossed $234 million worldwide so far and presumably will keep ascending, but internationally, ‘Lego’ isn't quite as gigantic of a draw (right now 72% of its worldwide gross is domestic).
In the rear with the silver and the bronze medals for this box office weekend were Kevin Costner’s “3 Days To Kill” ($12.3 million) and Sony/TriStar’s “Pompeii” ($10 million), neither of which did amazing business, but probably decent enough considering their smaller scale and modest budgets (though the “Pompeii” budget is admittedly high). Costner might be experiencing a minor career revival at the moment, but at the box-office, but even the bigger box-office player, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” has vanished from the top ten and stalled under $50 million domestically. Incidentally, you could probably nail the coffin shut in that would-be rebooted franchise if it wasn’t for the international market, which could make a sequel conceivable ($123 million worldwide so far and it’ll have to push higher that $200 for that to happen).
Made for $100 million (at least that’s what Sony reported) and only earning $10 million in its opening weekend, Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Pompeii” may have to wait for DVD and On-Demand shopping in hopes of breaking even. The writing was on the wall for this picture for a long time out. No real brand name stars (Kit Harington, Emily Browning), and a high concept that no one seemed to believe in but the execs. Studios are routinely trying to break up-and-coming actors as leading men, especially those coming from popular TV shows (Harington, who is great on “Game of Thrones”), but the small screen to big screen transition never seems to translate this early on. But in terms of Harington’s career, this is at least a decent stepping-stone to where he clearly wants his career to go, because you can’t really blame this one on him. And internationally, the movie did fare better with $22.8 million abroad and more territories to come.
Sony’s “RoboCop” continues to underwhelm domestically at the number four position with $9.4 million, however the movie is still doing well overseas, so it's possible their franchise dreams will live on (it’s at $72.7 million worldwide which isn’t fantastic, but neither a bomb just yet). The bigger story this week might be Screen Gems' "About Last Night," which had the biggest drop from last weekend, plummeting 71.1%. Ladies and African American audiences might be far underserved, but it might just be that everyone who wanted to see the movie in the U.S. saw it on opening weekend. Still, star Kevin Hart still has two films in the box-office top 10 (“About Last Night” and “Ride Along”) and total their domestic gross is over $160 million and climbing. Hart’s not worried, put it that way.
Critics might have scoffed at “The Monuments Men,” but it’s still hanging around in the top five thanks to the above-50 audience that is happy to attend. And having opened in 29 new markets overseas, it’s taken in $26.5 million internationally. Couple with its domestic gross, it should be able to hit $100 million easily, though it still needs to have much longer legs to be called a success.
Rounding out the top ten, “Frozen” should hit a billy next weekend, the same weekend when it might strike Oscar gold. Warner Bros.' "Winter's Tale" is all but dead and will have to be chocked up as their biggest bomb of the year thus far, and after eight weeks in the top 10, Uni’s “Lone Survivor” finally gets bounced out to take the 11th slot. Still hanging strong is Sony's "American Hustle." The picture took the 12th slot, down from 11 last week and has taken in a whopping $216 million worldwide, $144 million domestically. Regardless if it doesn’t even take one of the ten Oscars it’s nominated for (which seems impossible), David O. Russell’s comeback is fully complete and the good news is he'll likely be able to get any picture he wants green lit. Presuming it takes some major Academy gold it should easily be able to crack the top 10 again.
Japan's biggest box office hit from last year, Hayao Miyazaki's “The Wind Rises” opened in limited release with $306k from 21 theaters. Its $15k per screen average is good, but not quite amazing. By the way, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" finally opened up in China and it made $32.7 million in its opening weekend. That opening marked the biggest three-day opening of all time for a Warner Bros. title in China and it was up 74% from the first 'Hobbit' film. The movie however missed the $1 billion mark like its predecessor. Globally, the film is at $893.7 million and while it'll have legs in China, making that milestone feels out of reach.1. "The Lego Movie" -- $31,450,000 ($183,160,000)