Lego Three-Peats While Pompeii Blows
By John Hamann
February 23, 2014
It’s the post-President’s Day, post-Valentine’s Day frame, and after three days of huge ticket sales last weekend, most of the box office goes back into hibernation mode, unless you are The LEGO Movie, of course.
The LEGO Movie, from Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, and well, LEGO, three-peated this weekend, our second consecutive movie to win three weekends in a row, after Ride Along did it through mid to late January. After a long weekend where it earned $49.8 million over three days, and a massive $62.5 million over four days, even a juggernaut built of LEGO had to come back to earth a bit this weekend. After a Friday gross of $7.3 million (down 43% from Valentine’s Day), the animated 3D release stormed back over the remainder of the weekend, earning $31.5 million. That means that The LEGO Movie was off 37% compared to the three-day portion of last weekend, but still managed a 4.2 weekend multiplier, which means LEGO is not going to fade away easily. A third weekend over $30 million puts it with the top 20 third weekends ever, as Gravity’s $30 million weekend put that film at number 20. Frozen’s third weekend was $22.6 million, good for 59th place amongst third weekends.
The challenges will now get tougher for The LEGO Movie. Next weekend, it will likely not be number one, as Liam Neeson and Jesus face off in Non-Stop and Son of God (too bad they aren’t BOTH action movies), with both films debuting on more than 3,000 screens. The weekend after that, even bigger hitters come to the plate in the form of the sequel 300: Rise of the Empire, and the animated Mr. Peabody & Sherman. For now, though, prospects are still strong for a $200 plus million finish, as The Lego Movie has a gross to date of $183.2 million, against a production budget of only $60 million. Overseas, it has earned more than $50 million, which means The LEGO Movie has already earned four times its production budget worldwide, and has yet to open in some big territories, like Japan and Australia. The sequel has already staked a claim to one of the biggest weekends in 2017 – May 26th. Better look out, Marvel.
Finishing a fairly lame second is 3 Days to Kill, a badly titled star vehicle for comeback artist Kevin Costner. After showing up in Man of Steel and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Costner went back to leading man status in 3 Days to Kill. The result is lower than the opening weekend of Last Vegas and several football fields away from something like Taken. The unholy triumvirate of Luc Besson, McG, and Costner got 3 Days to Kill (a title I would be okay with if Tarantino was directing Danny Trejo in something) to open to $12.3 million this weekend, after an opening Friday at $4 million. The fact that it went beyond $10 million and out-earned Pompeii should earn it some credit. It's Costner’s biggest above the title release since The Guardian ($18 million opening) in 2006, when Ashton Kutcher was still a name. Relativity put 3 Days to Kill out to only 2,872 venues, so you can see even the studio didn’t have a lot of faith in it.