Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson has taken a look at The LEGO Movie, noting how the positive buzz on the eve of its release across demographic quadrants could be a harbinger for a surprise hit and a revival of fortunes for Warner Bros’ theatrical animation division. Among other factors, the movie is getting strong buzz across multiple demographics as well as an effective marketing campaign, although competition for the family film dollar is heightened by the continuing strength of Disney’s Frozen and the surprising strength of The Nut Job. Even so, the movie’s budget of $60 million means The LEGO Movie can be profitable quickly even on relatively low box office numbers, which could lead to a beachhead for Warner Bros to re-enter the arena for theatrical animation. Mendelson also points out that the movie could give Warner Bros a distinctive brand identity in that space, and potentially launch a lucrative franchise, while reversing the highly inconsistent track record of Warner Bros. theatrical animation for the past two decades.
The LEGO Movie premieres in US theaters on February 7, 2014.