IN THE SPOT­LIGHT

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS -

Pho­tos and text from wire ser­vices Warner Bros. re­leased two spinoffs: “The Lego Bat­man Movie” in 2017 and “The Lego Nin­jago Movie” later the same year.

Dis­tri­bu­tion ex­ec­u­tives for Warner Bros. de­clined to com­ment on the week­end’s re­sults.

Un­til now, 2019’s slug­gish box of­fice was partly blamed on lack of qual­ity re­leases, with only a hand­ful of highly pro­moted films from ma­jor stu­dios. This week­end saw a rel­a­tively ro­bust slate of re­leases, in­clud­ing Taraji P. Hen­son’s “What Men Want” and the Liam Neeson thriller “Cold Pursuit.” Both did solid if not spec­tac­u­lar busi­ness.

Paramount’s “What Men Want,” a loose re­make of the 2000 Mel Gib­son comedy, de­buted with $19 mil­lion. Hen­son plays a sports agent with the abil­ity to hear men’s thoughts in Adam Shankman’s film, a kind of gen­der flip from the orig­i­nal. The film got poor re­views (47 per­cent fresh on Rot­ten Toma­toes), but au­di­ences gave it an A-mi­nus Cine­maS­core.

Lion­s­gate’s “Cold Pursuit” de­buted with $10.8 mil­lion, a re­sult in line with ex­pec­ta­tions de­spite the con­tro­versy that sur­rounded its star in the week lead­ing up to re­lease. Neeson drew heavy crit­i­cism af­ter he ac­knowl­edged in an in­ter­view pub­lished last Mon­day that he wanted to kill a ran­dom black per­son when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man.

WARNER BROS. PIC­TURES VIA AP

This im­age re­leased by Warner Bros. Pic­tures shows the char­ac­ter Lucy/Wyld­style, voiced by El­iz­a­beth Banks, in a scene from “The Lego Movie 2: The Sec­ond Part.”

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