The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

'The Lego Movie' clicks with moviegoers, debuts with $69.1 million

  • Print
This image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Dimitri Leonidas, John Goodman, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban in

Enlarge Image

This image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Dimitri Leonidas, John Goodman, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban in "The Monuments Men." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures, Claudette Barius, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - "The Lego Movie" clicked with moviegoers, assembling an exceptional $69.1 million debut at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates.

The better-than-expected result made the Warner Bros. collaboration with the Danish toy company easily the biggest hit of the year so far. A sequel is already in development for the 3-D animated film, digitally drawn to mimic a world composed entirely of Lego bricks.

The film has drawn raves from critics. Co-directors and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("21 Jump Street," ''Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs") gave the film a playful tone to capture the whimsy of a child playing in a box of Legos. Characters are largely voiced by comic actors like Will Ferrell and Chris Pratt.

The film marks the biggest animation hit for Warner Bros., a studio that despite popular live-action franchises has struggled to develop animated hits on par with other studios.

"I can't imagine this not turning into a long-term franchise," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "This is such a runaway success that Warner Bros is now a major player in the animated genre."

Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., said the film, made with a production budget of $60 million, resounded because of the popularity of the Lego brand. This is the first feature film for the toy company. Fellow toy-maker Hasbro has seen mixed results since the launch of the "Transformers" franchise, which was followed by "G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra" and the notorious flop "Battleship."

George Clooney's World War II caper "The Monuments Men" opened in second place with $22.7 million. Reviews have been weak for the based-on-a-true-story tale about the mission to retrieve artwork stolen by the Nazis.

The Sony Pictures film was postponed from a Dec. 25 release because, Clooney then said, more time was needed to finish the visual effects. Clooney served as director, co-writer, producer and star on the film.

"The Monuments Men," based on the nonfiction book by Robert Edsel and Brett Witter, was particularly popular with older moviegoers, with 75 per cent of its audience aged 35 and older.

"It's right where we hoped to be," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. "There's a lot of love for George and the ensemble cast."

Sliding to third was the cop comedy "Ride Along," with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. After three straight weeks atop the box office, the Universal film earned $9.4 million.

The Weinstein Co.'s bid for a young adult franchise, "Vampire Academy," opened poorly with just $4.1 million. The PG-13 film, based on Richelle Mead's young adult novels, is about mortal vampires at a boarding school.

Before opening in North America next weekend, Sony's "RoboCop" took in $20.2 million overseas.

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

1. "The Lego Movie," $69.1 million ($18.1 million international).

2. "The Monuments Men," $22.7 million.

3. "Ride Along," $9.4 million.

4. "Frozen," $6.9 million ($24 million international).

5. "That Awkward Moment," $5.5 million ($1.1 million international).

6. "Lone Survivor," $5.3 million ($1 million international).

7. "Vampire Academy," $4.1 million.

8. "The Nut Job," $3.8 million.

9. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," $3.6 million ($5.3 million international).

10. "Labor Day," $3.2 million.

___

Estimated weekend ticket sales Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "Frozen," $24 million.

2. "The Monkey King," $21.5 million.

3. "RoboCop," $20.2 million.

4. "The Wolf of Wall Street," $19 million.

5. "The Lego Movie," $18.1 million.

6. "The Man From Macau," $13 million.

7. "Dad, Where Are We Going," $12.5 million.

8. "Miss Granny," $8.3 million.

9. "Viy," $6.8 million.

10. "12 Years a Slave," $6.7 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jake_coyle

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google