It was a surprisingly strong weekend at the box office, with people venturing out after two weekends of lackluster titles and Super Bowl parties. The big winner of the weekend was The Lego Movie, which rode both universally great reviews and a lack of family film competition to the top spot with $69.1 million, thus far the biggest opening weekend of the year. Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., noted that the film had broad audience appeal (59 percent of the audience was over 18, and 55 percent was male) and had a stronger showing with 3-D screenings than most films as of late. It’s likely the film will have legs in the coming weeks, with few competitors beyond next week’s Valentine’s Day offerings.
In second place was George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, which managed to take in $22.7 million despite mixed reviews and a delayed release date (the film was originally supposed to come out December 18 as an Oscar contender, but got pushed back). The audience for that film was primarily older adults and the film functioned as a nice piece of counterprogramming to the kid’s movies, romcoms and Oscar contenders that are out right now. Speaking of kid’s movies, the other major release this weekend, the Twilight-resemblant based-on-a-YA-book -series film Vampire Academy, opened in seventh place to a meager $4.1 million. Despite a heavy marketing push, it seems that the market for such stories (as also proven by the failure of the second Percy Jackson film and The Mortal Instruments) is waning, or that studios need to be pushing for properties with a stronger fan base.
The rest of the old releases remained in about the same order with about the expected numbers. Ride Along fell to number 3 with $9.3 million, bringing its total to an impressive $105 million. Frozen was number 4 with $6.9 million. That Awkward Moment was number 5 with $5.5 million, and Lone Survivor was number 6 with $5.2 million Perhaps most notable is that we’re only in February and already 2 2014 films (Ride Along, Lone Survivor) have cracked $100 million (last year, Identity Thief was the only film in the first two months of the year to hit that mark)