The Lego Movie

New entries each open with modest bows in the low-teens

Solidifying the power of Legos with audiences, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s 3D animated “The Lego Movie” scored its third straight win at the domestic box office, with an estimated $31.5 million in three days (down just 37%) for a Stateside cume of $183.2 million.

The cross-over blockbuster beat out two male-targeted new entries, Sony’s “Pompeii” and Relativity Media’s “3 Days to Kill,” both of which fell in line with pre-weekend expectations by grossing in the low-teens. “Pompeii,” which Constantin financed for a hefty $100 million, collected a mere $10 million, while the $28 million-budgeted Kevin Costner-actioner “3 Days to Kill” bowed with $12.3 million.

Meanwhile, a trio of Sony holdovers — “RoboCop,” “The Monuments Men” and “About Last Night” — followed in standing, each grossing in the high-single digits.

Internationally, “RoboCop,” which Sony and MGM are distributing in varying territories, reached $100 million from 75 markets. The film has cumed almost $150 million worldwide.

In China, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opened with a boffo $32.7 million, making it the largest mainland opening ever for Warner Bros. (ahead of the first “Hobbit” by a whopping 74%). It’s also the largest three-day opening for Imax in China, with $4.4 million.

“The Lego Movie,” which surpassed $275 million globally this weekend, has been the saving grace of the box office lately since none of the new entries have broken out, though “About Last Night” scored a solid near-$30 million debut last weekend, lifting its domestic cume to nearly $40 million. Pic saw a steep 71% drop from Valentine’s day weekend, however, comparable to Universal’s “Endless Love,” which fell 68% Friday-Sunday.

Totals this weekend were roughly 6% better than this time last year domestically.

There are a couple of other holdovers continuing to do business, as well as move up in the industry record books: Disney’s “Frozen,” which so far has amassed $980 million globally, surpassed “Despicable Me 2″ to become the second-highest grossing animated film of all time.

Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” reached $423.6 million domestically, making it the tenth biggest-grossing film ever. It’s also the only time that the first two installments of a franchise each have grossed north of $400 million Stateside.

The dismal domestic start for “Pompeii,” driven mostly by men over 30, puts Constantin and the now defunct FilmDistrict (which footed the P&A bill) in a difficult position financially, though the film has yet to begin rolling out in earnest internationally. Sony has only U.S. rights to the film, which made $22.8 million from 37 overseas territories.

The 3D epic, starring “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harrington, marks another swords-and-sandals film bowing recently, while “3 Days to Kill” is the first recent major starring film role for Costner, who is having a career resurgence of late. The modestly-budgeted action film isn’t likely to leg out much domestically given Liam Neeson’s “Non-Stop” bows Feb. 28.

Both “Pompeii” and “3 Days to Kill” could display decent lives in the ancillary markets, however.

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