“The Lego Movie,” the animated film from Warner Bros., held off three remakes from the 1980s to lead ticket sales in U.S. and Canada for a second week.
“The Lego Movie,” based on the Danish building-brick toys, collected $48.8 million for Time Warner Inc.’s studio in the first three days of the U.S. Presidents Day weekend, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. “About Last Night,” starring Kevin Hart, placed second with $27 million in its debut for Sony Corp.
Favorable reviews and a lack of competition have buoyed “The Lego Movie,” which features characters like Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that are used as figurines by Lego A/S, the Danish maker of the toy bricks. The film is attracting families as well as adults who grew up with the toy.
“It’s had great word of mouth and it’s really connecting with children and adults,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “It’s the kind of movie that Hollywood dreams about.”
“The Lego Movie” was directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, whose credits include the 2009 animated Sony hit “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” It features the voices of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman.
The film had the best opening of 2014 last week, giving Warner Bros its first No. 1 of the year, and will probably start a new franchise for the studio, according to Contrino and Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak.
With the Presidents Day holiday Monday, “The Lego Movie” was projected to take $60 million over the four days, the estimate of BoxOffice.com.
“About Last Night,” one of three romantically themed movies released to take advantage of Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, is a remake of the 1986 romantic comedy that starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The new film moves to Los Angeles from Chicago and follows two couples who see their relationships tested in the real world.
Hart demonstrated his box office pulling-power with the hit buddy-cop movie “Ride Along,’ which was No. 1 at theaters for two weekends after its debut last month.
“About Last Night” received a 75 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com and was projected to take $26.5 million over the four-day weekend by Box.Office.com.
“Many of the funniest parts seem to arise spontaneously from Mr. Hart’s uncensored brain and fast-moving mouth,” wrote critic A.O. Scott in the New York Times.
Taking third was “RoboCop,” a remake of the acclaimed 1987 hit, which generated $21.5 million for Sony Corp. in its debut. The film, about a part-man, part-machine police officer, stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role, which was filled by Peter Weller in the original.
Critically injured in the line of duty, he is rebuilt by a technology conglomerate that sees the chance to profit by providing a RoboCop in every city. The movie also features Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.
“RoboCop,” which was released on Feb. 12, got a 50 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com. It was made for $100 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and projected by BoxOffice.com to collect $28 million over four days.
“Endless Love,” from Universal Pictures, and “Winter’s Tale,” from Warner Bros., were the other two date movies to make their debuts in wide release.
“Endless Love,” a reboot of the 1981 hit with Brooke Shields, took in $13.4 million to place fifth. Starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, it follows an affair between a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose parents try to thwart their relationship.
“Winter’s Tale” is about a burglar who learns that he has the gift of reincarnation. The character, played by Colin Farrell, and seeks to bring back an heiress he is taken with and who dies in his arms. The movie collected $7.79 million to place seventh.
“The Monuments Men,” a returning movie, directed, co-written and starring George Clooney, took in $15 million to place fourth for Sony. Set during World War II, it follows a group of aging museum directors, curators and art historians in a race against time to rescue art trapped behind enemy lines as the Third Reich fell.
Weekend revenue for the top 10 films rose 28 percent to $155.5 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $1.35 billion, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier.
The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 and estimates for Sunday.
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