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Lego Movie 2 tops the box office with $35 million debut

<em>Lego Movie 2</em> tops the box office with $35 million debut
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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is taking a brick to its competition.

The latest in the animated toy-inspired franchise takes the top spot at the box office in its opening weekend with an estimated $35 million in ticket sales at 4,303 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, bringing its North American total to $88.7 million.

For the first time in 2019, new releases make up the box office top three with Paramount’s What Men Want grabbing second place with an estimated $19 million across 2,912 theaters and Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit rounding out the top three with an estimated $10.8 million across 2,630 theaters. The weekend’s other new release, Orion horror flick The Prodigy, did not fare as well, taking the sixth slot with an estimated $6 million across 2,530 theaters.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is Warner Bros. latest entry in its plasticine franchise, after 2017’s Lego Batman Movie and Lego Ninjago Movie. The film is the first official sequel to the 2014 hit that kickstarted the franchise, The Lego Movie. 

With a script from Lego masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller and directed by Mike Mitchell, the film reunites the heroes of Bricksburg as they attempt to save their city from a new threat. It features the voice talents of returning cast members Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Will Arnett, as well as newcomers to the franchise Stephanie Beatriz, Tiffany Haddish, Maya Rudolph, and more.

Despite strong reviews, The Lego Movie 2 fell short of projected expectations which anticipated a weekend haul somewhere between $50-55 million. The sequel didn’t come close to the 2014 opening take of the original film, which took in $69 million its first weekend at the box office. This marks the second worst opening for a film in the franchise, after The Lego Ninjago Movie’s $20.4 million opening in Sept. 2017.

Jess Miglio/Paramount Pictures

New release What Men Want, a gender-swapped take on Nancy Meyer’s 2000 comedy hit What Women Want, grabs second place with its estimated $19 million total in line with industry expectations. Directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), the Paramount comedy stars Taraji P. Henson as a sports agent who is constantly overshadowed by her male counterparts, until an encounter with a psychic suddenly gives her the power to hear what men are thinking. It couldn’t compare to the Mel Gibson-Helen Hunt original, which took $33.6 million in its opening weekend back in 2000.

The weekend’s other major title, Liam Neeson revenge thriller Cold Pursuit, fell far short of expectations with its third place estimated total of $10.8 million. The Lionsgate release reportedly cost $60 million to make, but the film was likely hampered by its release in the midst of major controversy involving star Liam Neeson after he confessed in an interview that he once contemplated a “revenge” attack against a random black person. Neeson apologized for the remarks after the backlash.

Doane Gregory/Summit Entertainment

Indeed, it marks Neeson’s worst opening for a wide release since he rebranded himself as an action star with the wild success of 2009’s Taken. The film follows a local snowplow operator (Neeson) who becomes consumed by revenge when his son is murdered by a local drug cartel.  Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, and William Forsythe also star. Hans Petter Moland directed the film, and it’s an English-language remake of his 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance.

The Prodigy, which was the fourth new title of the weekend, came in sixth with an estimated $6 million total. The film stars Taylor Schilling as a mother who believes her son’s disturbing behavior might be due to something supernatural.

2019 box office winners The Upside and Glass round out the top five for the weekend, with estimated totals of $7.2 million and $6.4 million respectively. It’s a steep decline for Glass of nearly 33 percent, having held on to the top spot at the box office for the previous three weekends running. Meanwhile, STX Films’ The Upside continues to make a strong showing in its fifth week, bringing its cumulative domestic total to $85.8 million, an unexpected victory for a film that once seemed as if it might be lost to the controversy surrounding the Weinstein company.

Overall box office is down 14.5 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 8-10 numbers below.

1. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — $35 million


2. What Men Want— $19 million


3. Cold Pursuit— $10.8 million


4. The Upside— $7.2 million


5. Glass— $6.4 million


6. The Prodigy — $6 million


7. Green Book— $3.6 million


8. Aquaman— $3.3 million


9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse— $3 million


10. Miss Bala — $2.7 million

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