Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The LEGO Movie Blows Away 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii

Scott looks at the continued dominance of The LEGO Movie and the subpar performances of the two new wide releases.


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The Lego Movie was able to remain at number one for the third weekend in a row after only dropping 37% from last weekend by scoring a very healthy $31 million dollars. So far it has seen a domestic total of $183 million and worldwide tally of $235 million with lots more money to be made, establishing itself as a new franchise for Warner Brothers. It will have smooth sailing for another a while yet as there will not be any competing films until Mr. Peabody and Sherman comes out on February 7th.

Not faring as well, however, was 3 Days to Kill starring Kevin Costner, but it did surprise a number of people by being able to land in the number two spot this weekend with $12 million dollars. It is not the greatest opening weekend for a movie, but considering its modest budget of only $28 million (which is rare for an action movie) it may be able to break even if it is able to perform well in the international market. Domestically, I don’t see this movie lasting too long as Liam Neeson is rolling onto the scene in an action movie that is sure to rob 3 Days to Kill’s audience. Its life expectancy is not going to be helped by the fact that it is not critically well-received (only scoring 29% on Rotten Tomatoes), which is a factor that seems to come into play with movies for older audiences.

Managing to come in third was the 3D disaster movie Pompeii, which was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. In my write up last Friday I had mentioned about how making the movie with Anderson on a budget of $100 million (that is rumoured production budget, and does not include marketing) was a bad move by TriStar studio. It turns out that I was wrong about that, and the studio remains in a decent position as the film was funded completely by the German company Constantin Film. This is not the first time that the company has been involved with Anderson, who has seen financial success with the Resident Evil franchise but has a hard time making back money for any other type of movie. Constantin was involved in Anderson’s 2011 3D interpretation of The Three Musketeers that only made $20 million domestically on a budget of $90 million. I don’t deny that he had success early on with Mortal Kombat and that the Resident Evil franchise is profitable, but it does leave me a little baffled that he is able to still land these big budget films.

Other than that, there is very little that is of interest to note from this past weekend. Probably the most interesting is the fact that Robocop was able to hold out much better in its second weekend than the Kevin Hart comedy About Last Night. Despite having a stronger opening weekend and having a much better Rotten Tomato rating (Robocop is at 49% and About Last Night is at 76%), the 80s action movie remake was able to maintain a spot in the top five, while the romantic comedy ended up dropping to sixth place from debuting at number two. It saw a huge drop of 71% in gross for its second weekend, a percentage that is usually owned by ‘found footage’ horror movies. The two other romance movies from Valentine’s Day (Winter’s Tale, Endless Love) weekend saw drops of 70% as well, but it seemed easier to expect that drop for those films which were poorly reviewed and had sub-par opening weekend numbers. What makes the sharp drop of About Last Night more shocking is the fact that Kevin Hart is incredibly popular right now, and was teamed up with fellow cast mates from 2012’s box office success, Think Like a Man in Michael Ealy and Regina Hall. Perhaps people are sick and tired of the concept of romance after having had a full day devoted to the topic so recently.

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