This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows the character Lucy/Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, in a scene from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No. 1 but everything is not awesome

Some say oversaturation could be to blame

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” was easily the top ticket-seller in theatres over the weekend, but the film’s $35 million opening failed to stack up to its expected haul, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The animated sequel had been forecast to draw around $50 million. Instead, it debuted with half the $69 million the 2014 original did, despite good reviews and an A-minus CinemaScore.

With about a $100 million budget, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2” had been pegged as a dependable, star-studded franchise release sure to kick-start a moribund box office. But after record ticket sales last year, Hollywood’s 2019 has gotten off to such a bad beginning that the movie’s tagline of “Everything is not awesome” is looking more like accurate industry analysis.

“The expectations were certainly much higher for ‘The Lego Movie 2’ considering the success of the first installment,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “We were all hoping that this would be the weekend that got the momentum of the box office going in the right direction. We’re still waiting.”

Every weekend this year has been down from the same weekend a year ago. That’s a streak sure to continue. Next weekend, the new releases include “Happy Death Day 2U” and “Alita: Battle Angel.” What opened the same weekend last year? “Black Panther.”

“Momentum is everything at the box office,” Dergarabedian said. “And we’ve sort of lost that.”

Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell and others reprise their voice roles in “The Lego Movie 2,” while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph join the cast. Mike Mitchell directs the movie written by original writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Oversaturation could be to blame. Since the 2014 original, which grossed $469 million worldwide, Warner Bros. released two spinoffs: “The Lego Batman Movie” in 2017 and “The Lego Ninjago Movie” later the same year.

Distribution executives for Warner Bros. declined to comment on the weekend’s results.

Until now, 2019’s sluggish box office was partly blamed on lack of quality releases, with only a handful of highly promoted films from major studios. This weekend saw a relatively robust slate of releases, including Taraji P. Henson’s “What Men Want” and the Liam Neeson thriller “Cold Pursuit.” Both did solid if not spectacular business.

READ MORE: Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

READ MORE: Stan Lee’s devoted fans can mourn him at Hollywood memorial

Paramount’s “What Men Want,” a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy, debuted with $19 million. Henson plays a sports agent with the ability to hear men’s thoughts in Adam Shankman’s film, a kind of gender flip from the original. The film got poor reviews (47 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.

Lionsgate’s “Cold Pursuit” debuted with $10.8 million, a result in line with expectations despite the controversy that surrounded its star in the week leading up to release. Neeson drew heavy criticism after he acknowledged in an interview published last Monday that he wanted to kill a random black person when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man.

Neeson later appeared on “Good Morning America” to say he’s not a racist. Organizers for the New York premiere of “Cold Pursuit” cancelled the film’s red carpet.

Orion Pictures’ horror thriller “The Prodigy” also debuted, with $6 million.

China’s first big-budget space-movie spectacle “The Wandering Earth” bowed in China over the Chinese New Year holiday weekend with a staggering $172.7 million Friday to Sunday, and nearly $300 million since opening Tuesday.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” $35 million ($18.1 million international).

2. “What Men Want,” $19 million.

3. “Cold Pursuit,” $10.8 million ($2.8 million international).

4. “The Upside,” $7.2 million.

5. “Glass,” $6.4 million ($6.6 million international).

6. “The Prodigy,” $6 million ($1.1 million international).

7. “Green Book,” $3.6 million ($11.4 million international).

8. “Aquaman,” $3.3 million ($6 million international).

9. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” $3 million.

10. “Miss Bala,” $2.7 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore.

1. “The Wander Earth,” $172.7 million.

2. “Crazy Alien,” $77.7 million.

3. “Pegasus,” $52.4 million.

4. “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden

World,” $38.2 million.

5. “Alita: Battle Angel,” $32 million.

6. “Boonie Bears: Blast Into The Past,” $27.8 million.

7. “Extreme Job,” $18.2 million.

8. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” $18.1 million.

9. “The New King Of Comedy,” $14.9 million.

10. “Green Book,” $11.4 million.

___

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Man sentenced for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

UPDATED: Mission schools, UFV closing due to weather, road concerns

District announced that all public schools are closing early, parents should try to pick up kids

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

Little interest shown regarding proposed 4.62 per cent tax hike for Mission

Only two people spoke at budget forum, more comments expected online

New public art piece for downtown Mission

The Tartan, a cubed art piece that will hang on First Avenue, will be created at a cost of $50,300

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read