Despite a bevy of widely hyped '80s remakes hitting theaters this weekend, the original wit in Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) The LEGO Movie once again proved triumphant.
Following what at first appeared a close race for the weekend's top spot with Screen Gems' romantic comedy About Last Night -- both films grossed roughly $13 million Friday -- The LEGO Movie's superior late-weekend momentum pushed it over the $50 million mark over the next two days. As of this morning, it had nearly doubled About Last Night's respectable $25.7 million weekend debut.
Not that it should come as any big surprise. After all, the bulk of About Last Night's early weekend sales can be attributed to Valentine's Day romancers looking for a lighthearted follow up to dinner. At the same time, Time Warner's toy-inspired holdover enjoyed a captive audience as the newest family-friendly blockbuster in wide release since January's The Nut Job, which has only grossed $62.7 million worldwide over the last five weekends.
But you won't find Screen Gems complaining: With its tiny budget of just $12.5 million, About Last Night was all but ensured to be a financial success as the least expensive film in of this weekend's top five.
RoboCop's not dead
Meanwhile, MGM and Sony (NYSE:SNE) Pictures secured third place with their reboot of RoboCop, which grossed a modest $21.5 million during its domestic weekend launch. That may seem paltry compared to RoboCop's huge $100 million production budget, but keep in mind Sony's robotic effort has already yielded another $69.9 million internationally. All told, RoboCop has already earned $96.3 million worldwide.
RoboCop's stateside launch also wasn't a far cry from the $24.8 million, weekend-winning performance turned in last year A Good Day to Die Hard, on which Fox spent a comparable $92 million. In the end, RoboCop should have no problem proving profitable for Sony and MGM if it can maintain its international momentum -- for some perspective, A Good Day to Die Hard ultimately grossed $304.6 million worldwide, of which nearly 78% originated overseas.
Next, Sony's $70 million holdover in The Monuments Men earned another $15.5 million stateside, good enough for fourth place this weekend and bringing its global total to $55.1 million. As I suggested last week, however, almost 84% of that total has come from U.S. audiences so far, as The Monuments Men only just began expanding in earnest overseas this weekend. As late overseas numbers trickle in and the historical drama continues rolling out in new countries, expect its totals to grow considerably from here.
Then there's Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal's Endless Love, which trailed close behind with a lower-than-expected $13.2 million. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of that total came with $7.3 million on Valentine's Day alone, and begs the question of whether Endless Love will be able to eventually recoup Comcast's $20 million outlay.
However, you can be sure Comcast isn't as worried about Ride Along, which grabbed another $8.7 million in its fifth weekend for sixth place and easily beat the $7.3 million earned by Time Warner's new $60 million fantasy Winter's Tale. To the latter's credit, international results still haven't begun to roll in. But with exiting audiences granting Winter's Tale a mediocre CinemaScore of 'B' -- the lowest of this week's newcomers -- right now Winter's Tale arguably looks like the weekend's only true flop.
Coming up next
But don't worry all you Time Warner fans, because the success of The LEGO Movie should more than make up for Winter's Tale's failure.
The only significant newcomers next weekend will arrive in the form of two modest 2,500-theater action flicks with 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii. I'll be sure to touch base in more detail before then to see how each film will fare, but at this point it looks like LEGO's domination should continue.
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