Weekend box office: 'The LEGO Movie 2' falls well short of expected $50-million opening

    (L-R) Unikitty (ALISON BRIE), Benny (CHARLIE DAY), President Business (WILL FERRELL), MetalBeard (NICK OFFERMAN), Emmet (CHRIS PRATT), Lucy/Wyldstyle (ELIZABETH BANKS) and Batman (WILL ARNETT) in a scene from the animated adventure "The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part," from Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group, in association with LEGO System A/S, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Photo: Warner Bros)

    Weekend Box Office February 8-10, 2019

    (KUTV) Early tracking suggested that “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” would easily win the weekend with a domestic total as high as $50 million. The film easily landed in first, but its totals were well off from expectations as “The Second Part” managed only $34 million. That’s less than half of the $69 million “The LEGO Movie” opened to in 2014. Considering the LEGO franchise in general has been trending backwards, this isn’t nearly as surprising as it initially seems. Nonetheless, I was shocked to see the film’s Friday’s totals stall at $8.5 million. 2017’s “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” had been a dud that scraped its way to a worldwide total of $123 million. That poor performance (“The LEGO Batman Movie” finished with $311 million worldwide, “The LEGO Movie” finished with $469 million) could be explained away by the fact that it was a spin-off that was never expected to be as popular as the main series and Ninjago has far less brand recognition when compared to Batman.

    Maybe the better take would have been that audiences were growing tired of seeing LEGO movies, particularly when you consider that there have also been numerous straight-to-DVD LEGO releases during the same period.

    All eyes will now turn to the international numbers.

    Not that things are nearly as bleak for Paramount who saw their “What Men Want” earn $19 million. The comedy, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan, cost only $20 million to make.

    Liam Neeson’s “Cold Pursuit” managed just $10.8 million. Those who saw the film drew parallels to the dark humor of “Fargo” with more violence thrown in to the mix. Apparently, that wasn’t what audiences were looking for.

    STX’s “The Upside” continues to pull in impressive numbers as it added $7.2 this weekend. The Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston comedy has now earned $85 million in North America.

    After three weeks atop the box office, “Glass” dropped to fifth place in its fourth weekend with $6.4 million. The worldwide total is $221 million against a $20-million budget. That’s a massive success for M. Night Shyamalan, who wrote, directed and produced the film, and distribution partners Universal (domestic) and Walt Disney (international).

    The Prodigy,” a horror film from Orion Pictures, finished in sixth with $6 million. That matches the film’s production budget.

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