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Weekend Box Office Preview: ‘Lego’ Expected to Top New Releases ‘Pompeii’ and ‘3 Days To Kill’

By Brett Gold - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:47AM

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The weekend brings two new films to theaters, but both 'Pompeii' and '3 Days To Kill' could face major competition from holdovers including 'The Lego Movie.'

With President's Day weekend over, audiences can look forward to the more traditional two-release-a-week model Hollywood has grown accustomed to over the years. But just because we only have a pair of new entries to the box office wars, that doesn't mean you should discount the holdovers, especially those larger than life Legos, which are again expected to keep building up its profits.

Pompeii

(Credit: Tri Star)

Tri Star Pictures (a subsidiary of Sony (SONY 1.90%)) will look to bring back the disaster pic this weekend with Pompeii, which takes audiences to ancient Rome. Set in 79 A.D., the movie follows a slave turned dominant gladiator named Milo (Kit Harington), who must save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning) from an arranged marriage to a corrupt senator (Kiefer Sutherland), all while Mount Vesuvius threatens to blow its top in the background.

Analysis

Pompeii will be Sony's (or at least a division of Sony's) fourth movie in three weeks and serve as the capper until its massive summer slate kicks off in April. The film was originally seen as a possible big hit for the studio, but the buzz has worn off, as has any good will from the critics.

Audiences aren't expected to show up in force for the 3D actioner, despite the appeal of lead Kit Harington, who audiences know from HBO's juggernaut Game of Thrones. These types of films used to play very well in this timeframe, but audience's tastes have changed and the 3D aspect has become less of a luxury and more of an afterthought. Box office projections range from $10 million to the low teens.

3 Days to Kill 

 

Relativity has the week's other new release in 3 Days To Kill starring Kevin Costner. The 59-year-old actor plays a spy who wants to quit the industry to reconnect with his estranged family. However, his agency has other plans and extorts one last mission out of him, which coincidentally comes at the same time he's asked to watch his daughter for the weekend.

Analysis

While this sounds like a plot to a bad comedy, it's not. Yes, it has lighter moments but this McG-directed movie is an action thriller, and if that's what you're looking for this weekend then ignore the terrible reviews and head to the theater. Granted you may be the only one there, but at least you know what you're paying for. Like PompeiiKill isn't expected to do that well, with many believing it may be hard for the film to break $10 million, though it reportedly cost significantly less to make.

Regardless, this has got to be a disappointment for Costner. After seeing a career resurgence the other year with his Emmy-winning role in TV's Hatfields & McCoys, he's looking at back-to-back box office flops following last month's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit misfire. He still has three more movies set to come out this year.

Holdovers

So what will do well this weekend?

Analysts believe Warner Brothers' (a subsidiary of Time Warner (TWX)Lego Movie could three-peat, making it the second film this year to do so (the other being Universal's Ride Along) and the first animated one to achieve that feat since Shrek's final installment back in 2010.

Lego's about to get some company though. Next week, Liam Neeson arrives back in theaters with Non-Stop, which is expected to shake up the standings.

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