Lego, Last Night Find Valentine Success
By John Hamann
February 16, 2014
The Lego Movie crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday morning, its eighth day, the same amount of time it took fellow animated films like Finding Nemo, Brave and WALL-E. It still has two more weekends of zero competition, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman don’t show up until March 7th. The Lego Movie will see a higher drop next weekend, but it has a 10 day gross of $129.1 million, which is more than even the most bullish analyst expected. This is a good movie, one that appears to be crossing demographic groups, and is being consumed by all. It is just getting started overseas, where it has pulled in $18 million so far.
The success this weekend doesn’t stop with The Lego Movie, as a very healthy second goes to About Last Night, with newly minted superstar Kevin Hart, amongst others. The Screen Gems remake of the '80s film, or re-imagining of the stage play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, tied with The Lego Movie on Friday, also earning $13 million on Valentine’s Day. Unlike The Lego Movie, About Last Night peaked on Friday, but was still able to record an impressive weekend gross of $27 million, and did it despite appearing on only 2,253 screens, or 1,522 fewer than The Lego Movie. The Screen Gems release earned an impressive venue average of $11,984, and gives Kevin Hart his second $25 million plus opener in the space of only five weekends.
While I could go on about Kevin Hart, the real stars here are Screen Gems and Will Packer, the producer of About Last Night, Ride Along and Think Like A Man, all of which starred Hart. Two of those three movies were from Screen Gems (Ride Along was Universal). Will Packer and Screen Gems have an uncanny knack for opening low budget movies and making real dollars after only one weekend. Think Like A Man opened to $33.6 million and cost $12 million; Obsessed, with Beyoncé, opened to $28.6 million and cost $20 million; This Christmas opened to $18 million and cost $13 million; and Stomp the Yard opened to $21 million and cost $13 million. In the case of About Last Night, the cost here was $13 million, an amount it earned on opening day. Tracking was looking for only $23 million over four days from this one, so to do $4 million better over three days is an impressive task.
Finishing third is Sony’s remake of Robocop, a film I wished they had stayed away from, as in my mind, remaking Robocop is like remaking Jaws. The 2013 version of Robocop got started on Wednesday, earning a poor $2.8 million, but the film was able to come back from that low score as the weekend wore on. The Thursday number was even lower at $2.1 million, and Sony executives must have been sweating over a film that cost $100 million to bring to the screen. Things improved on Friday, despite this one obviously not being a Valentine’s Day release. It earned $7 million on Friday, an increase of over 200%, and was able to turn the Friday into a weekend gross of $21.5 million, and a five-day take of $26.4 million. While decent, this is still likely $20 million less than Sony was hoping for from opening weekend.