The Lego Batman Movie has proven to be as successful as you’d expect a movie putting the Caped Crusader and the biggest toy brand in the world together to be, if not more so. For a short while it was even the highest rated Batman film on RottenTomatoes (it’s since fallen below Christopher Nolan’s seminal The Dark Knight) and overall its mix of smart Bat-gags and fun accessibility has been praised.
It’s also been a big box office hit. Last weekend it managed to beat out stiff competition from Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter 2 to end the weekend at number 1, and while there wasn’t much overlap in the respective audiences of these movies, it is still impressive given those sequels’ high profile. And it looks like that box office dominance is set to continue for a second week.
Variety is reporting that Lego Batman won the Friday box office, making $7.5 million to beat out three major new releases – A Cure for Wellness, The Great Wall and Fist Fight – and is on track to being in around $38 million across the President’s Day weekend.
Second place actually went to fellow returner Fifty Shades with $6.8 million. The biggest new release was Matt Damon’s Chinese period fantasy The Great Wall, which made $5.9 million and is on-track for a $20 million total, although as the film’s already made over $200 million in international territories ($170 million of which comes from China) distributor Paramount won’t be too upset. Charlie Day-Ice Cube teacher conflict comedy Fist Fight follows up with $3.8 million, which on a much smaller budget than the rest of the competition is on form to break even. The loser of the day was Gore Verbinski’s creepy drama A Cure for Wellness, which only scraped together $1.5 million (making getting back its $40 million budget a tall ask).
As it’s a President’s Day weekend, this will give Lego Batman some serious bragging rights, but also means films not placing in the top three can still make a sizeable gross, with the holiday offering an extra day of ticket totals.
Despite its success, Lego Batman is still a way off matching 2014’s The Lego Movie; its box office topping first weekend didn’t come close to Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s surprise hit, which on its own second Friday made $12 million, over 50% more than Bats. This may suggest the brand has hit a ceiling, although the real test will be September’s Ninjago where we’ll see if one of Lego’s own properties can be a mainstream hit.