The toys of everyone’s youth are on track to strike box office gold. Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie (Cinema Score: A) pulled in an astonishing $17.1 million Friday, far exceeding studio expectations and putting the movie on track for at least a $56 – $60 million weekend.
The $60 million film from writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller effectively iced Frozen’s 11-week reign (which, at $1.41 million, didn’t even make Friday’s top five). The joint Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow pic played in 3,775 theaters, and a sequel is reportedly already in development with screenwriters Jared Stern and Michelle Morgan. But as far as February records are concerned, Lego still has a long way to go to surpass Passion of the Christ’s $83.8 million 2004 debut.
Meanwhile, George Clooney’s star-packed The Monuments Men (CinemaScore: B+) had a $7 million Friday which could put the World War II pic on track for a $20 million opening weekend. The poor critical response to the film (still holding at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes) is clearly not affecting people’s decisions to enjoy the undeniably charming cast of Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, The Artists’s Jean Dujardin, and Moonrise Kingdom’s Bob Balaban. Argo, another recent adult-targeted film, had a similar $19.5 million debut.
Weekend holdovers took the third and fourth place spots. The Kevin Hart/Ice Cube buddy comedy Ride Along earned $2.6 million Friday and will definitely pass $100 million this weekend. The Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan relationship comedy That Awkward Moment surprised by snagging the fourth place spot with $1.71 million, bringing its domestic total to $13 million.
Rounding out the top five, The Weinstein Company’s Vampire Academy (CinemaScore: B-) brought in an estimated $1.43 million. The PG-13 flick based on Richelle Mead’s YA series opened in 2,676 theaters and will likely net out at around $4 to $5 million when the weekend closes. While that’s not enough to make TWC consider franchise potential (a double-digit opening might have), it’s also not a flat-out failure since they’re only distributing the modestly budgeted movie.
Here’s the top 5:
1. The Lego Movie — $17.14 million
2. The Monuments Men — $7.0 million
3. Ride Along — $2.6 million
4. That Awkward Moment — $1.71 million
5. Vampire Academy — $1.43 million
Check back in tomorrow for a full report and weekend estimates.