Things did not click into place for a sure-thing sequel.
After a dismal Super Bowl frame it was expected this weekend would be a vibrant one, with a smash hit sequel returning and numerous new arrivals expected to draw crowds. Instead the building block franchise fell apart, and the other releases ranged from “okay” to “meh”.
So as it stands this is a surprisingly mild weekend performance, with little more set to arrive the rest of February to electrify audiences. It is looking like March will be called upon to reinvigorate things, with a Marvel hero and a Disney live-action classic poised to draw interest.
1. LEGO MOVIE 2 – $34.4 Million
Predictions, and early tracking had expectations for this to land in the $50 million range, or higher, so to come in with a 30-35% lower return is rather staggering. The total here is 50% lower than the initial film. What has probably happened is some fatigue over the property has settled in. This is the fourth “Lego” title in theaters in five years, coupled with the numerous other Lego offerings on streaming services and elsewhere. What had been an original vision and voice in 2014 has become overly familiar, and possibly overplayed. There is still a chance this iteration can achieve a profit, and that may be relying on a couple of soft weeks of competition ahead.
2. WHAT MEN WANT – $19M
A gender-swapped remake of the Mel Gibson comedy, this stars Taraji P. Henson who plays a sports agent meeting resistance in a male-dominated profession until she becomes gifted with the ability to read the male mind. It managed to hit its projected numbers, and while critics were rather split the audiences favored this with an “A-” CinemaScore. That may help it to linger, as it was weighted with females by 62%.
3. COLD PURSUIT – $10.8m
Liam Neeson continues on his path of gun-toting aging man action pieces, this one distinguished by all the others as it takes place in the snow. Another average return, as it was expected to draw about $10-15 million. These films are taking more of an international focus, so a soft North American performance does not doom things for Lionsgate.
4. THE UPSIDE – $7.22m
The frothy adult comedy/drama has been a constant surprise, and the strength only continues here. In its fifth week it had another impressive hold, falling only -17%. Since it was based on an international hit the focus was almost entirely on a domestic run, and this has become a huge success for STX Films, distributing for Lantern Entertainment, which culled this from the wreckage of The Weinstein Company.
5. GLASS – $6.42m
The ending of the Unbreakable trilogy is doing well enough, practically at the $100 million threshold. While not a failure it has not become the breakout hit many anticipated. Just a regular hit.
6. PRODIGY – $6.0m
Once a significant player in Hollywood during the 80s-90s Orion Pictures has become a niche studio, releasing only a couple of titles in limited release each year. For a change it has attempted to replicate the Blumhouse model, by going bargain basement on the production in the hope of squeezing out a decent enough return for a profit. Made for a paltry $6 million and lightly promoted it was given a wide release onto 2,500 screens with little horror competition. As such, it could become profitable if it simply manages to climb up into the double-digits.
7. GREEN BOOK – $3.56m
Becoming this year’s model of the Oscar release blueprint. Originally distributed in late November it has been in theaters now for 13 weeks. Well over $60 million domestic, and a $100 million worldwide total is better than anyone would have predicted. It is still showing on over 2,000 screens.
8. AQUAMAN – $3.3m
Only now beginning to ebb from the list after two months it has been an unqualified success for Warners/DC. Much like “Venom” had been for Sony, many found this to be a rather risible production, but the masses showed up for it, so the studio is not too concerned.
9. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE – $3.04m
One of my LOCK predictions for the Academy Awards is this one for Best Animated Feature.
10. MISS BALA – $2.72m
Possibly a great indicator on how weak of a list we see for the weekend, the fact this overlooked action attempt could plunge -60% and still manage a spot in the top-10 is as good a metric to use.