So you had the last weekend begin with Valentine’s Day. A perfect day to get in the couples and flourish their romantic lives with something mushy, something sweet, something that would make their hearts swell. And Hollywood studios gave it a go. Three romantic movies, all released together, along with a sci-fi action film, in case people weren’t in the mood for love. And guess who takes the top prize? Someone else, someone from the week back. The animated flick The Lego Movie. The audience preferred the charming love of Emmet and Wyldstyle to the others, they came back for more doses of Bat-puns, they were eager to relive the adventure to stop the “Kragle”. And so The Lego Movie fell only 29% in its second weekend, adding $48.8 million, which takes its domestic gross to $129 million in just 10 days. When you recollect that the production budget was only $60 million, much lower than the budgets of animation flicks from the big studios, you need to applaud Warner Bros. Animation for creating this gem of an entertainer and marketing it effectively. A sequel is almost guaranteed here, though an official word is awaited; but until then we would still be seeing The Lego Movie in the top slots at the box-office for quite a while.
If you are wondering what happened to the three romantic films lined up on the weekend, well, they had a mixed bag of results. The romcom About Last Night had the best showing amongst the new releases, earning $27 million in North America. That is a solid start for this flick which has quite a low production budget of about $13 million that should be easily recovered. The movie had a good V-Day too, earning about half of its weekend earnings on 14th February. Also, actor Kevin Hart seems to be on a roll, first with Ride Along and now About Last Night. Things however didn’t go so well for the other two romantic films, for there is only so much love that the audience can take in it seems. The other 80’s remake Endless Love earned $13.3 million finishing fifth on the charts and even though its budget too is a smaller one at $20 million, the theatrical run of the film is not expected to be long. But the worst of the lot has to be Winter’s Tale. With the most prolific cast with the likes of Collin Farrell and Russell Crowe, with the highest production budget of $46 million, with the anticipation of writer Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, the movie could not have done worse than the $7.8 million opening it managed over the weekend. An abysmal opening which would culminate in an abysmal theatrical run for the film, Winter’s Tale has to be one of the high profile flops of the month. Warner Bros. will not be crying too much over this one though, for The Lego Movie will more than make good the losses here.
That leaves us with the final wide release of the film. The reboot, RoboCop. The movie opted to jostle with the romantic films on V-Day and while it did triumph over a few, its $21.5 million opening weekend numbers are to be considered modest. The movie was made on a production budget of $100 million after all. Sci-fi / action films generally tend to see big falls in the second weekend, and so the domestic run for RoboCop is not going to help the studio much to get back its investment. But this one does have an international appeal. It has earned close to $70 million so far in the foreign markets, taking its worldwide tally to $96 million, and a continued boost from abroad is the only likely saviour for the film. A few more weeks in, and the picture would be clearer, as to whether the reboot shall live for another day, or we would be losing RoboCop for a long time till someone else takes a shot at it! And quickly adding an update on Clooney’s The Monuments Men which dipped only 32% for the second weekend and is already the highest grossing film directed by George Clooney.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. The Lego Movie ($48.8 million; second weekend)
2. About Last Night ($27.0 million)
3. RoboCop ($21.5 million)
4. The Monuments Men ($15.0 million; second weekend)
5. Endless Love ($13.4 million)