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Friday Box Office: 'Lego Movie' Has Robust Opening Day, 'Monuments Men' in Distant Second Place

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood February 8, 2014 at 1:33PM

Despite competition from the tape-delayed opening Olympics ceremony, box office was strong yesterday, with "The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.) taking in a strong $17,140,000 ahead of what is likely to be a very strong matinee-fueled weekend, though not record breaking for February. "Lego" looks to be among Warners' most recent #1 films the third to open to over $50 million and will be the biggest opening of 2014 so far.
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'The LEGO Movie'
'The LEGO Movie'

Despite competition from the tape-delayed opening Olympics ceremony, box office was strong yesterday, with "The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.) taking in a robust $17,140,000 ahead of what is likely to be a very strong matinee-fueled weekend, though not record-breaking for February (the best remains "The Passion of the Christ"). "Lego" looks to be among Warners' third recent #1 film to open to over $50 million --along with "Gravity" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"-- and will be the biggest opening of 2014 so far.

Coming in a distant second, around expectations, is George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" (Sony) at $7 million. This is actually by some distance the best first day gross for a film he directed (doubling the take for "The Ides of March"). With an all-star cast and heist theme, it is aimed more at a wider "Ocean's Eleven"/sequel audience, with its full weekend gross (likely around $20 million) a bit more than half of their initial takes. With a $70 million budget, this will need likely strong international response to be a success.

The third opening, "Vampire Academy" (Weinstein Company), only reached #5 for the day at $1,425,000, and will likely drop to a weak #7 for the full weekend. Falling to #3 after three weeks in first place, "Ride Along" (Universal) took in $2.6 million, only a 35% drop. This will top $100 million today. #4 "That Awkward Moment" (Focus) fell more than half to $1.7 million.

#6 "Frozen" (Buena Vista) and #7 "Lone Survivor" (Universal) both grossed about $1.4 million. Two Paramount releases, "Labor Day" and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" came in #8 and 9, both just over $900,000. Sony's "American Hustle" was #10 for the day at $750,000, but is likely to be edged out this weekend by the just-behind "The Nut Job" (Open Road).

The total for Friday's top 10 was $35 million, up more than 50% from last year, putting 2014 at this early stage over 7% better than 2013 domestically -- although the bigger grossing international take has fallen so far this year.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.