‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens in No. 1 spot

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - NATION - BY JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK — “The Lego Movie 2: The Sec­ond Part” was eas­ily the top ticket-seller in the­aters over the week­end, but the film’s $35 mil­lion open­ing failed to stack up to its ex­pected haul, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day.

The an­i­mated se­quel had been fore­cast to draw around $50 mil­lion. In­stead, it de­buted with half the $69 mil­lion the 2014 orig­i­nal did, de­spite good re­views and an A-mi­nus Cine­maS­core.

With about a $100 mil­lion bud­get, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2” had been pegged as a de­pend­able, star-stud­ded fran­chise re­lease sure to kick-start a mori­bund box of­fice. But af­ter record ticket sales last year, Hol­ly­wood’s 2019 has got­ten off to such a bad be­gin­ning that the movie’s tagline of “Ev­ery­thing is not awe­some” is look­ing more like ac­cu­rate in­dus­try anal­y­sis.

“The ex­pec­ta­tions were cer­tainly much higher for ‘The Lego Movie 2’ con­sid­er­ing the suc­cess of the first in­stall­ment,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for Com­score. “We were all hop­ing that this would be the week­end that got the mo­men­tum of the box of­fice go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. We’re still wait­ing.”

Ev­ery week­end this year has been down from the same week­end a year ago. That’s a streak sure to con­tinue. Next week­end, the new re­leases in­clude “Happy Death Day 2U” and “Alita: Battle An­gel.” What opened the same week­end last year? “Black Pan­ther.”

“Mo­men­tum is ev­ery­thing at the box of­fice,” Der­garabe­dian said. “And we’ve sort of lost that.”

Chris Pratt, El­iz­a­beth Banks, Will Ar­nett, Will Fer­rell and oth­ers reprise their voice roles in “The Lego Movie 2,” while Tif­fany Had­dish and Maya Ru­dolph join the cast. Mike Mitchell di­rects the movie writ­ten by orig­i­nal writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Over­sat­u­ra­tion could be to blame. Since the 2014 orig­i­nal, which grossed $469 mil­lion world­wide, Warner Bros. re­leased two spinoffs: “The Lego Bat­man Movie” in 2017 and “The Lego Nin­jago Movie” later the same year.

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