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Weekend Box Office: Lego Batman Dominates as Great Wall Leads Lackluster Newcomers

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By Chris Kavan - 02/19/17 at 07:22 PM CT

Comparing this President's Day weekend to last year's President's Day weekend is bit of a bummer, but one can't forget that last year we had Deadpool to thank due to its monster opening. The same couldn't be said of any of the newcomers this weekend and, no surprise, the weekend was down 47% compared to last year. So far 2017 is also trailing a fair bit behind 2016 as a whole - off fully 10.4% compared to last year. Still, Lego Batman and Fifty Shades Darker are looking good and while The Great Wall may not be an American hit, it is still dominating overseas (not unlike WarCraft last year). Otherwise, Logan in the coming weeks may be able to stir things up as early reviews are very strong.


Oh hey, a kid-friendly film is going to win the kid-friendly holiday frame, who would've thought? It was a given that Lego Batman would win the weekend and it did so in a pretty strong fashion. Dipping 35.4% (a bit more than the 27% drop the Lego Movie had in its second weekend), Lego Batman took in $34.22 million for a new total of $98.7 million and it will top $100 million for the holiday as kids are going to be out of school and this is likely to be a big hit with families. It is following a very similar path to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and if it continues to do so, a domestic total around the $170 million range is likely. Speaking of $170 million, that is also what its worldwide total stands of as of right now - likely to hit $180 million sometime on Monday. All in all, for a spinoff movie, this is doing pretty darn good and while the upcoming Ninjago movie isn't going to make the same waves, I suspect the Lego brand is in good hands and we can expect many more movies of this ilk in the future.


Also holding up well and retaining its second-place position, Fifty Shades Darker took a 55% hit, but still managed to snag a $21 million weekend (it should top $24 million including Monday) for a new total of $89.7 million. It held up much better than Fifty Shades of Grey, which drop 73% after its front-loaded holiday opening. While it will still probably not be able to catch the $160 million total of the original film, it is looking like Darker is going to get closer than many would have expected. It's doing great overseas as well, picking up $187.2 million for a world wide total of $277 million and counting. I dare say that this is one trilogy that will actually pan out, even if I still think the source material is junk, at least it's entertaining a lot of folks.


The Chinese/American joint venture Great Wall has had a huge impact overseas, but not even Matt Damon would attract much attention here in the U.S. With just $18 million ($21 million for the holiday), The Great Wall isn't going to put much of a dent in its $150 million budget here in the states. It only garnered an average "B" Cinemascore from audiences, and critics haven't been much kinder so the long-term prospects of this somewhat zany action film seem limited. It's a good thing it has already bagged $244 million overseas, because I'd be surprised if it can make it much passed $50 million by the time it heads out of theaters here. Normally that would be a death knell for such a high-budgeted epic, but, like WarCraft, the foreign returns are going to help this one out big time.


Keanu Reeves ultra-violent love letter sequel took a 45.8% hit and dropped one spot to fourth place with a $16.5 million weekend. It only took eight days for the sequel to top the $43 million total of John Wick, Chapter 2 now sits at $58.7 million with a worldwide total of $90 million. The $40 million sequel is looking at a domestic total around the $100 million mark and I think there's no doubt we'll be seeing John Wick back for another round in the near future.


Rounding out the top five, the Ice Cube/Charlie Day comedy Fist Fight opened with $12 million. Receiving generally bad reviews and earning another average "B" Cinemascore (the audience was mostly male - 54%, with 39% under 25), Fist Fight isn't going to have a lasting impression at the box office. A loose remake of Three O'Clock High, Fist Fight will likely wind up with a mere $30-$35 million and if it wasn't for the good graces of Mr. Cube, I think it would have turned out even worse. In any case, it's going to be a blip on the radar and I expect it to be out of theaters relatively quickly.

Outside the top five: Even though I thought A Cure for Wellness looked interesting, audiences were not impressed. Earning a typical horror movie Cinemascore of a "C+", the latest film from Gore Verbinski opened in 10th place with a mere $4.2 million. The $40 million production scored about the same mark in foreign openings ($4.5 million), so it looks like this one is just going to be a disappointment all around. Split may have hurt it as well, as it continues to play well with audiences. Oh well, there's always streaming I guess.

In milestone news A Dog's Purpose crossed the $50 million mark with a $5.56 million weekend and new $50.67 million total. And Oscar nominee Arrival looks like it will be able to just cross $100 million on Monday as it stands at $99.9 million right now.

Despite it bombing in the U.S. with just $44.2 million to date (or barely more then the $44 million the original film opened with), xXX: The Return of Xander Cage is technically the biggest (worldwide) film of 2017, with $308 million and counting. It will be short lived, but what a world we live in where a second-rate Vin Diesel action film is the global leader in film.

Next week brings us the off-the-wall horror film Get Out, the animated (and with virtually no advertising) Rock Dog and the long-delayed action film Collide (from beleaguered Open Road Films).


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