Box Office: 'Lego Movie' Sky-High With $17.1 Million Friday; 'Monuments Men' No. 2
UPDATED: The 3D animated film is on course to open to $60 million or more, while "Monuments Men" could take in a solid $20 million-plus; "Vampire Academy" is D.O.A.
Transforming quickly into a goliath, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's family film The Lego Movie grossed a stunning $17.1 million on Friday at the North American box office.
The 3D animated family film could open to more than $60 million through Sunday, the best opening for the month of February after Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which launched to $83.8 million in 2004. Lego also snagged an A CinemaScore.
Overseas, Lego is opening in 34 international markets this weekend, although many of them are smaller. Among the larger territories, the film is off to a strong start in Mexico and Brazil.
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, also opened Friday at the North American box office, grossing a solid $7 million for a projected $20 million-plus weekend. 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 and a B+ CinemaScore, 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 by The Weinstein Co. The film appears D.O.A., earning $1.4 million on Friday for a seventh-place finish and projected $4 million weekend. IM Global and Reliance financed the movie.
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.