Buildup too high for ‘Lego’ se­quel

The Mercury News - - News - By Gabe Cohn

The news out of Bricks­burg this week­end was both good and bad.

First, the good: “The Lego Movie 2: The Se­cond Part,” Warner Bros.’ lat­est story about an­i­mated Lego bricks and set in a plas­tic me­trop­o­lis, topped the do­mes­tic box of­fice. It sold about $35 mil­lion in tick­ets.

The bad news: That fig­ure is just about half of the $69.1 mil­lion its pre­de­ces­sor made na­tion­wide dur­ing its open­ing week­end in 2014, ac­cord­ing to Box Of­fice Mojo, and con­sid­er­ably less than what most an­a­lysts ex­pected.

The se­quel was writ­ten by the duo be­hind the “The Lego Movie,” Phil Lord and Christo­pher Miller, but this time, di­rect­ing du­ties were taken by Mike Mitchell (“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Wa­ter”).

In the se­quel, Chris Pratt lends his vo­cal cords to ever-op­ti­mistic hero Em­met along­side El­iz­a­beth Banks (his com­pan­ion Lucy), Will Ar­nett (an ab­surd Bat­man) and an en­sem­ble that in­cludes Tif­fany Had­dish, Maya Rudolph and Ja­son Mo­moa.

Com­ing in se­cond was an­other de­but: Para­mount’s “What Men Want,” a com­edy star­ring Taraji P. Hen­son that sold $19 mil­lion in tick­ets this week­end ac­cord­ing to Com­score, which com­piles box of­fice data.

Hen­son plays an At­lanta sports agent who gains the power to hear men’s thoughts.

The movie, di­rected by Adam Shankman, func­tions as an in­ver­sion of Nancy Mey­ers’ “What Women Want” (2000), which starred Mel Gib­son as a male reader of women’s minds.

Lion­s­gate’s “Cold Pur­suit” might have been just an­other bru­tal re­venge tale had its star, Liam Nee­son, not made head­lines re­cently af­ter an in­ter­view in which he de­scribed a per­sonal racist re­venge story.

The out­cry that fol­lowed re­sulted in the can­cel­la­tion of red car­pet events for the movie, which stars Nee­son as a Colorado snow­plow driver aveng­ing a son’s death.

Still, the film met an­a­lysts’ ex­pec­ta­tions, sell­ing around $10.8 mil­lion in tick­ets this week­end and land­ing in third place at the box of­fice.

WARNER BROS. PIC­TURES

Lucy (voice of El­iz­a­beth Banks) and Em­met (Chris Pratt) face aliens in “The Lego Movie 2: The Se­cond Part.”

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