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Weekend Box Office: The Lego Movie Continues 'Awesome' Run, Kevin Hart Opens Hot, RoboCop Stumbles

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By Chris Kavan - 02/16/14 at 08:16 PM CT

Love might have been in the air - but the weekend was still dominated by an animated movie that is sure to become the first major blockbuster of 2014. A couple of 80s remakes were upstaged by a red-hot comedian (and a strong ensemble cast) while Colin Farrell had nothing to celebrate as his tearjerker failed to find much of an audience. The total box office was up an impressive $35 million compared to last year (with President's Day still to come) and the year is off to a much better start overall, as 2014 is running a full 11.5% ahead of last year.


One of the main reasons the year looks so good is the success of The Lego Movie. In its second weekend, up against four romantic movies on the most romantic weekend of the year, it dropped just over 29% (compared to, say, The Lorax, which took a 45% hit in its second weekend) and added another $48.8 million to its coffers, giving it a new total of $129.1 million. It has already easily doubled its $60 million budget and, with not direct competition until March, it should finish in the $200-$250 million range and it will be a certified blockbuster. It should be second only to Passion of the Christ when it comes to biggest grosses fro any film released in the first two months of the year.


What more evidence do you need that Kevin Hart is the hottest comedian around? With Ride Along still cruising strong, Hart has another big opening with About Last Night. The romantic comedy came out on top of all Valentine's Day newcomers, bringing in $27 million over the weekend. It's the best opening for the romantic comedy genre since Think Like a Man ($33.6 million), which also starred Hart (and has a sequel coming out this June). I think Hart has found his niche and as long as it keeps working, I don't see him slowing down. The audience gave the film a nice "A-" cinemascore and drew in a mostly female (63%) and older (57% over 30) crowd. With a reported $12.5 million budget, the film is already a hit and even though it is likely to drop with the Valentine's Day crowd sated - a $50 million+ total is likely.


Another remake, another disappointment - RoboCop, with Joel Kinnaman under the helmet, is looking to bear a great resemblance to 2012's Total Recall. The film opened to $21.5 million over the weekend - not as high as past President Day action films A Good Day to Die Hard ($24.8 million) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ($22.1 million) - and neither of those films are held in very high regard, either. As I said, the best comparison has to be to Total Recall (which opened to $25.8 million on its way to a $58.8 million total). If we are to take that to heart, RoboCop should wind up at around $50 million - nowhere near its $100 million budget. It did earn a "B+" cinemascore and a strong $4.5 million IMAX showing, but that isn't likely to help it in the long run. Much like Total Recall, it will be saved from complete disaster thanks to a strong international market (where it has already brought in $70 million). It may help offset the domestic disappointment, but maybe it will finally mean that studios won't look to remakes as often (one can only hope).


After a decent opening, George Clooney's latest dropped a light 31.8% (not bad given the adult competition) and took in $15 million, giving it a new total of $43.67 million - and giving Clooney a new top-grossing movie (as a director, anyway). Although reviews were rough - the film likely has enough gas to at least get it passed its $70 million budget. While I'm sure the ensemble cast would have liked to have had a better return - with international markets included, it should still be a profitable result.


The second 80s remake of the weekend, Endless Love with Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde brought in $13.38 million. With a lack of big-name stars, it was a distant second to About Last Night and, even though it earned an "A-" cinemascore (compared to the harsher critics, where it averaged a C-), it brought in a mostly young, female audience - and, hence, was incredibly front-loaded (55% of its grosses came on Friday) and, because of that, isn't likely to have that strong of legs. While budget information isn't available, it is likely modest, and it should wind up around $25 million, if it is lucky.

Outside the top five: The week's other romantic film, Winter's Tale, the overly-sentimental drivel I kind of despise - wound up just where it should have - down in 7th place with $7.8 million. Audiences gave it a lackluster "B" cinemascore and reviews were even more harsh - and it won't be around for more than a week or two before it is forgotten. Farrell has had a rough time of late as this follows the disappointing opening of films like Dead Man Down ($5.3 million) and Seven Psychopaths ($4.2 million).

Frozen crossed another milestone - dropping a very light 14.8% - and took in $5.85 million (8th place) and inched across the $375 million mark and wound up at $376.05 million It is slowing down, but I think it has a good chance of challenging Iron Man 3 ($409.01 million) for the #2 spot for 2013.

Next week we have the action / drama / romance set against the backdrop of the volcanic eruption in Pompeii and Kevin Costner trying to do anything to survive in 3 Days to Kill. I have a feeling neither films will challenge The Lego Movie for box office supremacy.


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