Lego Bat­man beats adult fare

Chil­dren’s movie rules with $55 mil­lion; ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ takes in al­most $47 mil­lion

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT -

Movie­go­ers could choose vi­o­lence, sex or fam­ily-friendly fare this week­end with three di­verse new of­fer­ings that all drew healthy num­bers at the box of­fice.

“The Lego Bat­man Movie” took the top spot with $55.6 mil­lion, dom­i­nat­ing “Fifty Shades Darker,” which at­tracted $46.8 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day.

The spinoff of 2014’s “Lego Movie” ben­e­fited from good re­views and a lack of com­pe­ti­tion in the fam­ily space, which is ex­pected to help it main­tain its pace go­ing into the hol­i­day week­end, when kids are out of school.

A whop­ping 48 per cent of open­ing week­end au­di­ences was un­der 25. It also bodes well for Warner Bros.’ next Lego spinoff, “The Lego Nin­jago Movie,” set for Septem­ber.

Au­di­ences were slightly less cu­ri­ous to catch up with the ex­ploits of Chris­tian Grey and Ana Steele the sec­ond time around. The se­quel didn’t com­pare to “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” $85.2 mil­lion de­but in 2015.

Nick Car­pou, Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ pres­i­dent of do­mes­tic the­atri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion, said the first movie de­buted in a “per­fect storm.” The film adap­ta­tion of the best­selling book had gained im­mense in­ter­est and Valen­tine’s Day fell on a Satur­day in 2015, mak­ing the movie a datenight des­ti­na­tion. This year, the hol­i­day lands on a Tuesday.

“This is a great start,” Car­pou said, not­ing that the Cine­maS­core from au­di­ences is stronger for the se­quel. “The story will be told through the first part of this week.”

The other R-rated se­quel in the­atres this week­end, “John Wick: Chap­ter 2” took third place. With $30 mil­lion, it more than dou­bled the de­but of the orig­i­nal.

The Keanu Reeves hit man flick be­came a sleeper hit on the small screen, and that good­will helped bol­ster in­ter­est in the fol­low-up, which is also get­ting strong re­views.

“Peo­ple re­ally love its un­apolo­getic vi­o­lence,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, a se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for box of­fice tracker comS­core.

Round­ing out the top five were holdovers “Split,” the M. Night Shya­malan psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that added $9.3 mil­lion, for a to­tal of $112.3 mil­lion in earn­ings, and Os­car con­tender “Hid­den Fig­ures” with $8 mil­lion, boost­ing its to­tal to $131.5 mil­lion.

It was a strong week­end over­all for the­atres, at­trib­ut­able to the dif­fer­ent op­tions avail­able, Der­garabe­dian said.

“The tried and true brands are what peo­ple re­ally grav­i­tated to this week­end. The top three movies this week­end all based on brands that peo­ple know and love,” he said. “Each film drew their own au­di­ence with­out harm­ing the other films. This was a per­fectly pro­grammed week­end.”

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Sun­day at U.S. and Cana­dian the­atres, ac­cord­ing to comS­core. Fi­nal do­mes­tic fig­ures will be re­leased Mon­day.

1. “The Lego Bat­man Movie,” $55.6 mil­lion. 2. “Fifty Shades Darker,” $46.8 mil­lion. 3. “John Wick: Chap­ter 2,” $30 mil­lion. 4. “Split,” $9.3 mil­lion. 5. “Hid­den Fig­ures,” $8 mil­lion. 6. “A Dog’s Pur­pose,” $7.4 mil­lion. 7. “Rings,” $5.8 mil­lion. 8. “La La Land,” $5 mil­lion. 9. “Lion,” $4.1 mil­lion 10. “The Space Be­tween Us,” $1.8 mil­lion.

AP PHOTO

This im­age re­leased by Warner Bros. Pic­tures shows Bat­man, voiced by Will Ar­nett, in a scene from “The LEGO Bat­man Movie.”

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