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.