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Box office: LEGO Batman scales The Great Wall for top spot

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Warner Bros. Pictures

The LEGO Batman Movie keeps its adversaries at bay for the second weekend in a row as it adds an estimated $34.2 million ($42.5 million four-day) to its $107 million North American total over the holiday weekend.

The third film to be released under the Warner Bros. Animation umbrella, LEGO Batman repeats at the top of the domestic chart over Fifty Shades Darker, which holds steady at No. 2 with an estimated $21 million ($23.3 million four-day).

Though it has yet to land at the top spot in the U.S. and Canada, Fifty Shades Darker sits pretty at the peak position on the worldwide chart for the second week in a row. The romantic sequel, adapted from E.L. James’ popular book series, commands a further $43.7 million from 59 markets for a combined global total of $279.2 million on a $55 million budget.

Matt Damon’s The Great Wall, a historical monster movie made by Zhang Yimou, one of the most respected Chinese directors working today, premieres to an estimated $18.1 million over its first three days at 3,326 sites — a decent start considering a potentially disastrous wave of controversy swirling around the film’s casting. The film marks Damon’s lowest-grossing wide opener since We Bought a Zoo kicked off with $9.4 million in 2011. The film’s four-day total is estimated at $21.7 million.

Universal Pictures

While its North American ticket sales are muted, worldwide audiences are driving the $150 million Legendary and Universal production to stellar business overseas. To date, The Great Wall has amassed $244.6 million from international territories, amounting to a massive $266.3 million global haul thus far, recalling the grosses of Universal’s 2016 actioner Warcraft, which made a soft $47.4 million in the U.S. but soared to $386.3 million from foreign audiences.

At No. 4, John Wick: Chapter 2 posts a sophomore tally that outshines its predecessor’s $14.4 million debut number by over $2 million, finishing the weekend with an estimated $16.5 million ($19.1 million four-day). Its domestic grosses now stand at $61.3 million.

Rounding out the top five is the New Line comedy Fist Fight, starring Charlie Day, Ice Cube, and Tracy Morgan. The laugher bows as the first live-action mainstream comedy to invade theaters since James Franco’s Why Him? launched in December, though audience response to the genre’s latest offering is muted at best; Fist Fight earns a middling B grade on CinemaScore, while moviegoers purchased roughly $12 million worth of tickets ($14.5 million four-day) over the weekend.

Twentieth Century Fox

Elsewhere, Hidden Figures descends out of the top five for the first time in six weeks as it falls 11 percent to an estimated $7.1 million ($8.7 million four-day). The Theodore Melfi-directed film reigns as 2016’s highest-grossing best picture Oscar nominee, with a ballooning total currently resting at a stunning $144.2 million. The calendar year’s most-nominated Oscar contender, La La Land, follows at No. 9 with $4.5 million ($5.4 million four-day), while its overseas sales pass the $200 million mark, bringing its global number to just over $340 million.

Coming in at No. 10 (No. 11 on the holiday chart) is the week’s final new wide release, A Cure for Wellness, director Gore Verbinski’s first feature since helming 2013’s The Lone Ranger. The horror-thriller clocks in with a disappointing $4.2 million three-day gross ($5 million four-day) on a $40 million budget.

Per comScore, overall box office is down roughly 3.7 percent from the same frame last year. Check out the three-day Feb. 17-19 weekend box office estimates (four-day grosses in parentheses) below.

1. The LEGO Batman Movie – $34.2 million ($42.5 million)
2. Fifty Shades Darker – $21 million ($23.3 million)
3. The Great Wall – $18.1 million ($21.7 million)
4. John Wick: Chapter 2 – $16.5 million ($19.1 million)
5. Fist Fight – $12 million ($14.5 million)
6. Hidden Figures – $7.1 million ($8.7 million)
7. Split – $7 million ($8.3 million)
8. A Dog’s Purpose – $5.6 million ($7.4 million)
9. La La Land – $4.5 million ($5.4 million)
10. A Cure for Wellness – $4.2 million ($5 million)