The LEGO Batman Movie had a lot of built-in buzz ahead of its wide release. A hugely successful predecessor, an established, generation-spanning Batman fan base, and a relative lack of box office competition set the sequel up for smash success in its opening weekend. Its chief rival in terms of ticket sales was the newly released Fifty Shades Darker, but LEGO Batman is on pace to win the weekend in its first days in U.S. theaters.
The international markets tell a different story in terms of the competition. Fifty Shades is expected to win in terms of foreign box office totals, but that doesn’t mean that The LEGO Batman Movie isn’t still going to be a huge success. Early box office figures have LEGO Batman on pace to crush The LEGO Movie’s international totals in its opening weekend two years ago.
As reported by Deadline, The LEGO Batman Movie has earned $12 million on Thursday and Friday in 60 combined markets at the international box office in its opening weekend overseas. It’s projected to earn about 49 percent more than the opening weekend for The LEGO Movie, which earned over $18 million in its international opening weekend. Deadline noted that LEGO Batman may be benefiting from being released during the start of school vacation for kids in Europe. Warner Bros. is also expecting “excellent numbers” for LEGO Batman across Asia.
LEGO Batman has already earned $1.1 million in the U.K. alone on 1,441 screens, with an estimated cume of $4 million including sneak previews. Its combined Thursday-Friday gross in Germany, France, and Spain is estimated at $1.575 million. It’s at $489,000 in Mexico and is estimated at a combined $1.469 million in Russia, South Korea, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. While LEGO Batman is expected to beat Fifty Shades Darker at the U.S. box office by the end of the weekend, it will likely have to settle for second place in international markets, as Fifty Shades had the benefit of a slightly earlier release.
LEGO Batman was already a huge critical success as a more-than-worthy follow-up to The LEGO Movie. It’s not just an acclaimed animated feature – it could also be better than anything the D.C. Extended Universe has to offer. Considering the buzz surrounding the sequel to the smash hit LEGO Movie, and the already-massive Batman fan base, it ought to come as no surprise that The LEGO Batman Movie is surpassing the original at the overseas box office.
Though Deadline projects LEGO Batman to hit around $55 million in its opening weekend at the U.S. box office, that number would be down from The LEGO Movie’s $69 million opening weekend in 2014. The domestic opening total has to be something of a disappointment for Warner Bros. execs when comparing LEGO Batman to its predecessor. But The LEGO Batman Movie’s massive early international success could more than make up for it as the sequel shatters The LEGO Movie’s foreign opening weekend and stays on track to out-gross the original.