Monday Morning Quaterback

By BOP Staff

February 11, 2014

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Kim Hollis: The Lego Movie debuted with $69.1 million in its first weekend, thereby exceeding its total budget of $60 million and becoming the second biggest opener ever in the month of February. Why do you think it was such a breakout success?

Jason Barney: I think this is a huge success because of a number of different factors. First and foremost, I think the advertising has been great, in particular the trailer. My son and I saw the Lego Movie trailer at the end of last summer, and he has been asking about it ever since. As far as timing goes, Frozen has been cooling off for a while now, and The Nut Job has not really broken through with audiences. Lego Movie was pretty much primed for the spotlight all on its own, and it delivered.

I think another factor in this success has to do with the popularity of the toys. Somehow over the last generation of kids and youngsters growing up, those toys went from being somewhat bland to really, REALLY cool. Somehow, someway, Lego started delivering snapshots of some of the most popular film franchises. Lego Star Wars has been huge, Lego Lord of the Rings is big right now. It is a product that any child under the age of ten loves, finds challenging, and parents are totally fine with. Combine that with popular movie characters that kids are drawn to and you have some great buzz. This is going to be big for awhile.


Felix Quinonez: Legos have been around for so long that they are ingrained in our culture. So many people have fond memories of the toys or are at the very least aware of them. Not only that but Legos have for a while now been expanding their brand from just a simple block building toy. They have been making tie ins with everything from DC superheroes to Star Wars. And those DVD movies were very well received and were a nice way to test the waters for a Lego movie.

As for the movie itself, the marketing was very strong. The commercials were great and judging by the reviews and strong Cinemascore (A), it seems that they made a genuinely entertaining movie that people of all ages can enjoy.

Bruce Hall: I'm in total agreement on the marketing aspect of this. The campaign was as coordinated and precise as a Lego manual. This movie simply looked like fun, and the trailers were a pleasant surprise for anyone who was wondering "How the hell do you make a movie about Legos?" And the fact that it delivers what it promises guarantees that positive word-of-mouth will do the rest. This is an unqualified success, and it was no accident. Well done.

Edwin Davies: A combination of an iconic, ubiquitous brand and a movie that actually looked - and, judging by reviews and word-of-mouth, is - pretty damn good. The idea behind making a movie from Legos, one of the most universally known and loved toys ever, is a no-brainer, especially since the brand has become even more insanely popular thanks to the ridiculously fun and inventive Lego [insert beloved franchise] games. However, just having a product that everyone knows isn't enough to make a film a breakout success; you have to make a film that people actually might want to see. By hiring Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the kings of turning potentially dubious ideas into great, profitable fun, Lego and Warner Bros ensured that they'd have a product that would have the sense of fun and invention that the bricks themselves inspire in children, while also having something for grownups. The ads put across that idea, and the stellar reviews confirmed that this wasn't just an exercise in cross-platform marketing, but a real movie that people would have fun watching.

Combine that with a nice and neat hole in the schedule with no real competition for families and you've got a great start to what will probably be a pretty strong run, considering that similarly schedule - but not as good - films like Ice Age 2 and The Lorax opened to similar amounts and ended up in the $190-210 million range.

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