It’s been a great weekend for everyone’s favourite little cubes of feet-death. With incredibly strong brand identity and loyalty (it’s Lego guys, c’mon), a fantastic marketing campaign and stellar reviews across the board (standing at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing) THE LEGO MOVIE took an astounding $69.1 million in 1st. It’s second only to Jesus himself for February openings (PASSION OF THE CHRIST took $83.8 million in 2004) and is one of the best-ever openings for original animated movies, behind THE LORAX ($70.2 million) and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE in 1st place with $74 million. LEGO is now pretty much guaranteed to break $200 million domestically by the end of its run.
On top of the marketing and general tide of fuzzy goodwill, THE LEGO MOVIE’s success can be put down to good old-fashioned moxie. In one swoop it’s challenged and broken 2 long-standing industry assumptions: that animated movies need bloated budgets to hit the big time (LEGO’s was just $60 million) and that February is a death-zone for family films. With SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 2 slated for release in February 2015 studios seems to be quickly learning that a movie can work anywhere in the release schedule provided the conditions are right.
Also bowing this week was the most recent piece of Young Adult tosh, VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Ever since TWILIGHT proved that teenagers actually like films, there’s been a steady stream of increasingly generic would-be pretenders, each of which have flopped pretty extravagantly. VAMPIRE ACADEMY proudly continues this noble tradition, picking up a paltry $4.1 million for 3rd and joins BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, THE HOST and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES in a long-list of failures stretching from early last year.
Moving up to 2nd this week thanks to the pull of its sing-a-long special release (and because logic is just shackles for the weak) is FROZEN, adding an additional $6.9 million for a total domestic gross of $368.7 million. The Disney bombshell is now the 3rd highest grossing film of 2013, and with $913 million earned worldwide it’s looking likely that FROZEN will join the billion dollar club come it’s Japanese release next week.
Filling up the Top 5 is THE NUT JOB in 4th, continuing to do decent business after picking up $3.8 million in its 4th frame, and GRAVITY in 5th going steady in its post-Oscar nominations release with an extra $1.7 million in its 19th week.
Finally, just for giggles, lets poke and laugh at I, FRANKENSTEIN’s torrid $1.4 million weekend takings in 6th and DEVIL’S DUE’s confirmed flop status in 10th.
Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror Domestic Top 10
- The Lego Movie - $69.1 million – ($69.1 million, 1 week)
- Frozen - $6.9 million – ($368.7 million, 12 weeks)
- Vampire Academy - $4.1 million – ($4.1 million, 1 week)
- The Nut Job - $3.8 million – ($55.1 million, 4 weeks)
- Gravity - $1.7 million – ($266.5 million, 19 weeks)
- I, Frankenstein - $1.4 million – ($17.4 million, 3 weeks)
- Her - $737k – ($22.5 million, 8 weeks)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - $700k – ($255.4 million, 9 weeks)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $670k – ($422.2 million, 12 weeks)
- Devil’s Due - $296k – ($15.4 million, 4 weeks)
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