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

Waste not: Trail brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

First-round sweeps highlight world of hockey oddities

Sports ‘n’ Things with Dave Thompson

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

44 Engineer Squadron welcomes new commander

Trail Armoury welcomes Major Nils French, a Rossland native

Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday at Trail mall

Grapevine: List of events in the Trail area for the week of April 18 to April 24

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read