Everything is awesome at this weekend's box office, as two new releases opened stronger than projected.
Opening at number 1 is The LEGO Movie (read our review) with an impressive $69 million. While the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-directed animated feature did not break any box office records, it came close, both for the month of February and for original animated features. That's doubly impressive considering analysts projected the film might open at about $40 million.
Word of mouth and reviews for the film have been overwhelmingly positive, with few having anything negative to say about it. Warner Bros. clearly saw the signs that The LEGO Movie was going to be a hit and have already hired a writer to pen the sequel. Even if they don't direct the follow-up, Lord and Miller are now 3-for-3 on franchise-spawning releases (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and now The LEGO Movie).
Coming in at a distant number 2 is The Monuments Men (read our review) with $22.7 million. Like The LEGO Movie, The Monuments Men exceeded expectations, likely thanks to its solid marketing push and stellar cast. It doesn't hurt that the film purports to highlight an interesting piece of history either.
For director George Clooney, The Monuments Men's opening is his best yet, well ahead of films like The Ides of March and Leatherheads. That said, the film still has a steep upward climb toward making back its $70 million budget.
Ride Along is the number 3 film this weekend with $9.3 million. After three straight weeks at number 1, Universal's red-hot comedy lost its top spot but is the first 2014 film to cross the $100 million mark. So far the film has grossed $105 million.
In at number 4 is Frozen with $6.9 million. Although the debut of The LEGO Movie all but put an end to Frozen's impressive box office run, the film begins its downward decline after having staked its claim on both the domestic and worldwide box office top 5. The film has made $368 million after 12 weeks.
Rounding out the top 5 is That Awkward Moment with $5.5 million. While raunchy R-rated comedies and films targeted at younger females tend to have substantial drop-offs in their second weekend, That Awkward Moment held surprisingly well. Not to mention the film has already doubled its $8 million budget with $16 million thus far.
Coming in at number 6 is Lone Survivor with $5.2 million, bringing its domestic total up to a very impressive $112 million. With two $100 million grossers (Ride Along and Lone Survivor) after the first month, Universal looks to continue its dominance of the box office in 2014.
The number 7 film this weekend is Vampire Academy (read our review) with $4.1 million. Although the film hoped to capture a piece of the same young adult audience that helped fuel franchises like Hunger Games and Twilight, it wasn't meant to be. Add Vampire Academy to the growing pile of YA adaptations that failed miserably and lost all hope of kick starting a franchise.
In at number 8 is The Nut Job with $3.8 million. While Open Road Films' animated feature had been holding well over the past weeks, it saw a bigger drop than most with the debut of LEGO Movie. That said, the film has grossed $55 million after 4 weeks and already secured a sequel.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is the number 9 film this weekend with $3.6 million, which brings its domestic total after four weeks up to $44 million. The Chris Pine led reboot had high hopes heading into release, and there was even talk of a new franchise brewing, but unfortunately audiences aren't as interested in the Jack Ryan character as they once were.
Rounding out the top 10 is Labor Day with $3.2 million. Now at $10 million after two weeks, the Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet drama should clear its $18 million budget when all is said and done, but not by much.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, February 10th - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo