Box Office: 'Lego Movie' Opens to Huge Friday, Could Sail Past $60 Million for Weekend
UPDATED: George Clooney's latest directorial effort, "The Monuments Men," is off to a solid start and could nab a $24 million opening; YA film adaptation "Vampire Academy" lacks bite.
Berlin -- Based on Friday traffic, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures' The Lego Movie could sail past $60 million in its North American debut, a mammoth number for early February.
The only February film to open higher than $60 million was Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which launched to $83.8 million in 2004. Lego could earn as much as $20 million on Friday alone, although more conservative estimates show it earning $15 million to $18 million for the day.
Lego, based on the wildly popular toy line and intended to launch a new film franchise, was made in association with Lego Systems A/S. The voice cast includes Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.
The story follows an ordinary minifigure named Emmet who is mistaken for the hero who can save the Lego universe. With the aid of Batman, Uni-Kitty and Benny, among other characters, he must learn to defeat the tyrant Lord Business.
George Clooney's latest directing effort, The Monuments Men, co-financed by Sony and 20th Century Fox, also opened Friday at the North American box office and is pacing to score a solid $20 million-plus opening. The $70 million World War II film stars Clooney opposite Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.
The adult drama, receiving mainly negative reviews, was originally supposed to roll out over Christmas, but its release was pushed back until this weekend. On Saturday, it makes its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
Monuments Men, made in association with Germany's Babelsberg Studio and based on the nonfiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, follows a ragtag Allied squad of out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators and art historians tasked with saving important works of art before they are destroyed by the Nazis.
The weekend's third new offering is Vampire Academy, distributed The Weinstein Co. The film may not earn more than $8 million, a soft start and marking the latest YA adaptation to disappoint.
Based on Richelle Mead's 2007 novel and directed by Mark Waters, Vampire Academy stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky and Lucy Fry. The story revolves around three friends who are dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, where they must contend with a dangerous hierarchy, along with lies and secrets.