Weekend Box Office Report: February 14-16 2014

 

BOX OFFICE REPORT February 14-16, 2014(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 51. The LEGO Movie ($48.8 million)2. About Last Night ($27.0 million)3. RoboCop ($21.5 million)4. Monuments Men ($15.0 million)5. Endless Love ($13.3 million)

 

The LEGO Movie’s strong hold on the box office couldn’t be knocked over, even by four new competitors. The film dipped less than 30 percent in its second week, bringing in an estimated $48.8 million, proving strong word-of-mouth and repeat business. It’s already the frontrunner for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2015.

Kevin Hart continues to be one of the most valuable actors in Hollywood. His presence in a wholly unnecessary remake of About Last Night brought in $27 million and will easily surpass the original ($38.7 million) before February is over. It’s also now that we have to have our regularly scheduled conversation that films aimed at African-American audiences almost always do well, yet Hollywood continues to make far too few of them and movies like these are “surprise hits” instead of expected successes.

That’s even better than the better-advertised, bigger-budgeted RoboCop remake, which only took in $21.5 million over the weekend and $26.4 million since opening late Tuesday. That’s not a great opening and the movie deserves to be seen instead of dismissed. You’d think Hollywood would look at these cold hard numbers and realize what movies they should be making more of, but we all know which one they’ll throw their weight behind.

The Monuments Men continued to put up respectable numbers ($15 million) for an older crowd while Endless Love did well enough for Valentine’s Day weekend ($13.3 million) but will be forgotten just as quickly as the 1981 original. 

Outside the top 5: - This Weekend’s Indie Champ: The multi-generational Valentine Beijing Love Story, which averaged $14,222 on each of its nine screens. 

- Winter’s Tale, which had reviews ranging from “really bad” to “so bad it’s good,” opened weakly with $7.7 million. The adaptation of the novel had languished in development hell for decades. Apparently this version won’t win over fans of the book or those coming in with no frame of reference. 

- Frozen finally fell out of the top 5, in its 12th week of wide release. It also finally surpassed Despicable Me 2 to become the No. 1 animated film of 2013. And don’t be surprised if it sticks around a little longer, thanks to Sing-a-long Versions that opened this weekend.

Next week: It will look a lot like this week, as The LEGO Movie will easily vanquish the Kevin Costner-starring hitman thriller 3 Days to Kill and the historical romantic epic Pompeii. $5 million for the former would be generous while the latter could make $12 million. Flops either way. 

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About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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