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Weekend Report: 'LEGO' Obliterates '3 Days,' 'Pompeii'

by Ray Subers
The LEGO Movie
 

 
February 23, 2014

For the third weekend in a row, The LEGO Movie easily took first place at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii both attracted little interest from moviegoers.

The LEGO Movie
fell 37 percent to $31.3 million. That's the second-highest third weekend ever for an animated movie behind Shrek 2 ($37.9 million). Through 17 days the movie has earned $183 million, and Warner Bros. recently announced that they are moving ahead with a sequel (currently scheduled for Memorial Day 2017).

In second place, 3 Days to Kill opened to $12.2 million. That's a bit lower than The Family, which was the last collaboration between Relativity Media and French producer Luc Besson. It is at least a minor improvement over recent EuropaCorp outings like Colombiana ($10.4 million) and From Paris with Love ($8.2 million).

More so than other Besson productions, 3 Days to Kill seemed like a close relative to 2009 hit Taken: both movies featured an aging government operative taking out foreign enemies while trying to reconnect with his daughter. While Taken had a clear, unique premise, 3 Days was marketed like a standard action movie. Audiences connected with Liam Neeson's struggle to save his daughter, but weren't really able to invest in Kevin Costner's hunt for notorious terrorist "The Wolf."*

3 Days to Kill
's audience was split evenly between men and women, and skewed older (80 percent over 25). They awarded the movie an underwhelming "B" CinemaScore; in the long run, it should creep past $30 million total.

Big-budget disaster movie Pompeii crumbled with $10.3 million this weekend. That number is a tiny fraction of most disaster movies—it's less than half of notorious bomb Poseidon—and is also way lower than director Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil movies. It is at least a bit higher than Anderson's The Three Musketeers ($8.7 million), and is also a minor improvement over recent 3D CGI-heavy debacles The Legend of Hercules ($8.9 million) and I, Frankenstein ($8.6 million).

The key to selling a large-scale disaster movie is to put a focus on the characters involved: if Titanic was strictly about a sinking ship, it wouldn't have been nearly as successful. The marketing for Pompeii did try to highlight the central romance between Kit Harington and Emily Browning, but it wound up being literally overshadowed by the CGI volcano destruction (the poster is a good example of this).

Pompeii
's audience was 52 percent male and 62 percent over the age of 30. With the rate at which movies like this tend to burn out, it's likely that Pompeii ends up earning around $25 million at the domestic box office.

In fourth place, Robocop fell 55 percent to $9.8 million. That's similar to A Good Day to Die Hard, which dropped 59 percent to $10.2 million on the same weekend last year. Through 12 days, RoboCop has earned $44 million, and now has little chance of ending up over $70 million total.

The Monuments Men
rounded out the Top Five with $7.9 million. So far, the George Clooney movie has grossed a very solid $57.9 million.

Coming off Valentine's Day weekend, romantic movies About Last Night, Endless Love and Winter's Tale all took big hits. About Last Night plummeted 71 percent to $7.5 million for a new total of $38.3 million. Endless Love dropped 70 percent, and has so far earned $19.8 million. Finally, Winter's Tale fell 70 percent, and in the process it passed $11 million total.

Opening at 21 locations, Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises grossed $313,751. The Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature earned an "A-" CinemaScore, and expands in to around 450 theaters next weekend.

Finally, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire reached its final milestone this weekend. On Friday, the Lionsgate sequel passed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to become one of the Top 10 movies ever at the domestic box office. To date, Catching Fire has earned $423.6 million, which is a bit ahead of its predecessor's $408 million.

Around-the-World Roundup


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
opened to a very impressive $32.7 million in China this weekend. That's the biggest three-day start ever for Warner Bros., and is up 74 percent from the first Hobbit. To date, Smaug has earned $894 million worldwide; it's set to reach Japan, its final market, on Friday.

The LEGO Movie continued to do steady business overseas. The movie added $23.1 million, which includes new markets France ($3 million) and Italy ($2.3 million). It's top territory was the U.K., where it eased five percent to $9.4 million. To date, 'LEGO' has earned $92.5 million overseas, and still has Russia, Japan, Australia and Germany on the way.

While Pompeii got off to a poor start in the U.S., it fared much better overseas: playing in 37 markets, the 3D disaster movie earned an estimated $22.8 million. It took second place in South Korea with $3.6 million, and was also strong in Russia (though official numbers aren't yet available). It also did fine in France ($2.3 million), Brazil ($1.5 million) and Mexico ($1.3 million). In spite of its location and historical relevance, though, it only opened to $1.4 million in Italy. Pompeii expands throughout the rest of the world through June, and should have no problem earning over $100 million overseas.

RoboCop
added $17.7 million this weekend for a new total of $100 million. It opened in first place in Brazil (director Jose Padilha's native territory) with $3.4 million.

In its second weekend, The Monuments Men earned $13.6 million. It had solid debuts in Germany ($2.3 million) and Spain ($2 million), but didn't have much of an impact in Russia ($1.1 million). So far, the World War II drama has brought in $26.4 million overseas.

Frozen
passed Despicable Me 2 this weekend, and has now earned $980 million worldwide. The animated sensation will reach $1 billion before opening in Japan on March 15th.

*Note: In an earlier version of this story, the villain in 3 Days to Kill was listed as "The Jackal." The correct name is "The Wolf."

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

Forecast:
• 'LEGO' Set to Crush 'Pompeii' This Weekend


Last Weekend
• 'LEGO Movie' Dominates President's Day Weekend


This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2013 - 'Identity Thief' Steals Back the Top Spot on Quiet Weekend

• 2012 - 'Act of Valor' Gets SEAL of Approval
• 2011 - 'Gnomeo' Denied, 'Hall Pass' Ekes Out Modest Victory
• 2010 - 'Shutter Island' Hangs On, 'Cop Out,' 'Crazies' Debut Decently
• 2009 - 'Madea' Gives 'Jonas Brothers' a Lickin'
• 2008 - 'Vantage Point' Angles for Weekend Lead

• 2007 - 'Ghost Rider' Stays in the Saddle
• 2006 - 'Madea' Drags Moviegoers to 'Family Reunion'
• 2005 - 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' Comes Out Swinging at Number One

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• Weekend Box Office Results



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