Box Office Preview: 'Lego Movie 2,' 'What Men Want' to Ice Liam Neeson
In addition to Neeson’s ‘Cold Pursuit,’ the fourth new nationwide offering this weekend is 'The Prodigy,' a horror-thriller starring Taylor Schilling.
After a dismal January and a blowout over Super Bowl weekend, the 2019 domestic box office hopes to regain its stride this weekend in advance of Valentine's Day and the long Presidents Day holiday.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is poised to climb to the top of the chart with a $50 million-$55 million debut. The family-friendly pic opens five years after The Lego Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, became a brick-by-brick sensation at the box office, creating a new CG-animated franchise for Warner Bros. that has included two spinoffs (The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, both released in 2017).
Mike Mitchell directed Lego Movie 2, with Lord and Miller returning as writers and producers. Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Bank, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman and Will Ferrell reprise their roles, while new additions to the voice cast include Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz and Maya Rudolph.
Set five years after construction worker Emmet Brickowski (Pratt) and company emerge victorious over the evil Lord Business (Ferrell), the story finds the decidedly more infantile DUPLO invaders making good on their previous threat to reduce their beloved Bricksburg to a pile of rubble, dubbed Apocalypseburg.
Paramount and producer Will Packer's What Men Want could also impress. Directed by Adam Shankman, the pic is a gender-bending redo of Nancy Meyer's 2000 comedy What Women Want, which starred Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. Tracking suggests What Men Want will open in the $18 million-$24 million range.
In the new iteration, Taraji P. Henson stars as a successful sports agent who is constantly sidelined by her male counterparts. When she suddenly can read the minds of men, she uses her newfound power to bench her colleagues and sign the next biggest basketball superstar. Aldis Hodge co-stars, with James Lopez producing alongside Packer.
The prospects for Liam Neeson's latest action pic, Cold Pursuit, look grim. The Lionsgate release had been tracking to open in the $7 million-$10 million range, though that was before Neeson found himself having to explain why he isn't racist after an interview the Irish actor did with The Independent.
The Hans Petter Moland-directed Cold Pursuit is an English-language remake of the filmmaker's 2014 Norwegian vigilante film In Order of Disappearance. In the new pic, Neeson stars as a snowplow driver in a glitzy Colorado resort town who seeks revenge when his son dies of an overdose. Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, William Forsythe and Tom Bateman co-star.
Also opening nationwide this weekend is Nicholas McCarthy's The Prodigy, a horror-thriller starring Taylor Schilling and Jackson Robert Scott. The story follows a disturbed young child who may be possessed by supernatural forces.
Prodigy, from MGM's Orion Pictures, is tracking to debut to $6 million-$7 million.
The 2019 domestic box office could use some good news. January revenue came in at $812 million, the worst showing in eight years and down a steep 15.5 percent from 2018. The first weekend of February didn't bring much relief, either, with Super Bowl weekend revenue hitting a 19-year low.