Riding high on critical acclaim, ubiquitous marketing and an inescapably infectious song, “The LEGO Movie” built a $69.1 million debut over the weekend. The enthusiastic and fast-moving animated tale had the second-biggest February opening ever, behind only “The Passion of the Christ,” which debuted with $83.8 million in 2004.
While Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell and the rest of “The LEGO Movie” cast enjoyed a weekend that could easily be defined by their movie’s “Everything is Awesome” tune, everything was not awesome for “Vampire Academy.” The Young Adult franchise hopeful stalled with just $4.1 million, joining the likes of “The Mortal Instruments” and “I Am Number Four” in proving just how hard it is to launch the next “Hunger Games.”
George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” fared better, opening at a distant #2 behind “The LEGO Movie” with a nevertheless respectable $22.7 million. Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in the World War II dramedy, which co-stars Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and MTV’s Sexiest Man Alive, Bill Murray. Film critics didn’t warm to “The Monuments Men,” however: It sat at a “rotten” 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes on Monday morning (February 10). By comparison, “The LEGO Movie” was a very “fresh” 95 percent, with an “A” CinemaScore from audiences, too.
Triple-weekend-winner “Ride Along” slipped to #3 with $9.4 million, making it the first release of the year to cross the $100 million mark. The action-comedy’s $105.2 million domestic take makes “Ride Along” the biggest starring vehicle for both Ice Cube and onetime MTV Video Music Awards host Kevin Hart, whose latest concert film made $32 million last year.
Speaking of 2013, “Frozen” officially passed “Despicable Me 2″ to become the biggest animated flick released last year, with half a million more than the Universal sequel’s $368 million domestic finish. “Frozen” picked up another $13.7 million during its first weekend in China, helping to push its worldwide total past $913 million.
Zac Efron’s critical and commercial misfire, “That Awkward Moment,” was #5 with $5.5 million. The comedy has made only $16.8 million over the past two weeks — although, to be fair, it’s production budget was reportedly just $8 million.
“The LEGO Movie” wasn’t the only film to make use of nostalgia over the weekend. “Robocop” continued its overseas rollout, giving the sci-fi remake a $28.7 million total a week ahead of its domestic debut. The original “Robocop” made $53.4 million during its theatrical run in 1987. Fun fact: “Robocop” was nominated for two Oscars (editing and sound).