“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” built $1.5 million during Thursday night preview showings in North America and another $600,000 from Jan. 26 screenings.
Paramount Pictures’ comedy “What Men Want” launched with $1.3 million in previews. Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s Liam Neeson thriller “Cold Pursuit” took in $540,000 from Thursday previews at 2,050 locations.
Thursday previews for “The Lego Batman Movie” generated $2.2 million on its way to a $53 million opening weekend in February 2017. The original “The Lego Movie” made $425,000 in previews, then debuted with an impressive $69 million on the same weekend in 2014.
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is opening at 4,303 sites and has been pegged for an opening in the $50 million range this weekend.
Chris Pratt is returning to voice Master Builder Emmet Brickowski, along with the new character Rex Dangervest. The unfailingly optimistic Emmet has been searching the galaxy for Lucy (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) after her abduction by a malevolent, alien force. Tiffany Haddish is voicing the shapeshifting Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, along with Will Arnett as Batman, Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” alum Stephanie Beatriz as Sweet Mayhem.
Mike Mitchell directed “The Lego Movie 2,” while Phil Lord and Christopher Miller produced and co-wrote the film with “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg. Reviews have been strong, with the film earning an 84% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the fourth movie in the Lego franchise, which stumbled with “The Lego Ninjago Movie.” The pic opened with $20 million in September 2017.
“What Men Want” stars Taraji P. Henson in a reversal of Mel Gibson’s “What Women Want.” Henson plays a sports agent able to hear men’s thoughts. It’s pegged to take in about $20 million at 2,912 North American venues. Reviews have been mixed, with a 48% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Laura Dern and Emmy Rossum co-star in “Cold Pursuit,” which is expected to gross $7 million to $10 million from 2,630 theaters. Neeson plays a Colorado snow plower who seeks vengeance after his son is mysteriously murdered, in a remake of the 2014 Norwegian film “In Order of Disappearance.”
Orion is releasing the supernatural thriller “The Prodigy” at 2,530 sites with expectations in the $7 million range. “Orange Is the New Black” actress Taylor Schilling stars in a story of parents forced to investigate if their child is possessed by evil spirits.
Domestic moviegoing has been soft so far in 2019 with a 16.6% decline to $904.5 million as of Feb. 6, according to Comscore.
“This looks like the weekend that will finally break the box office losing streak that the Industry has endured since the beginning of the year as ‘The Lego Movie 2’ along with ‘What Men Want’ will piece together the building blocks of much-needed positive momentum at the multiplex,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.