Warner Bros. The LEGO Movie walled out all its competition at the box office in its debut weekend, with $69.11 million (estimated) in ticket sales. Its nearest competitor, Sony’s The Monuments Men starring George Clooney, came in a distant second in its debut weekend with $22.7 million (estimated) in sales. The opening is one of the strongest for any original animated feature (i.e., not a sequel), standing next to Disney/Pixar’s Up ($68.1 million), Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax ($70.2 million), and The Incredibles ($70.5 million). The box office take also makes The LEGO Movie the second-highest grossing movie with a February release date, behind The Passion of the Christ’s $83.8 million in 2004. The excellent results are attributed to extremely positive association with the brand among audiences, a very successful marketing campaign that highlighted the movie’s self-aware sense of humor and underscored its adult appeal, and near-unanimous praise from critics (including our own Grant White).
While Disney’s Frozen only took in $6.9 million (estimated) this past weekend to take fourth place, the number represents only a 23% drop from its prior weekend, bringing its cumulative domestic total to $368.7 million. In contrast, Open Road Films’ The Nut Job dropped 47.7% from its prior week’s earnings, bringing in $3.8 million (estimated) for an eighth place finish and a total domestic gross of $55.08 million.