‘The Lego Movie 2’ Falls Short, and the 2019 Box-Office Decline Continues

IndieWire | 2/10/2019 | Staff
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Good news first: March will bring an array of potential blockbusters. But through this weekend, grosses are down about 20 percent from the first six weeks of 2018. Not does that take into account “Black Panther,” which comes into play next week.

The weekend after the Super Bowl is when distributors start to get serious about the new year, positioning themselves for Valentine’s Day (Thursday this week, with all new openers debuting by them to take advantage). That meant four new openers, and considerable industry prayers that finally the slump of 2019 could be slowed down.

Releases - Year - Titles - Fifty - Shades

Instead, four new wide releases brought in $70 million in total estimated gross. Last year, three titles accrued $76 million, with the best (“Fifty Shades Freed”) ahead of this year’s (Warner Bros.’ “The LEGO Movie Two: The Second Part” by over $3 million, with the next two also better than their 2018 counterparts.

“LEGO Movie 2”

Opening - LEGO - Movie - Industry - Estimates

Some excuse the disappointing opening of “The LEGO Movie 2” (pre-opening industry estimates approached $50 million) stems from too many “LEGO” films. It made less than half than the first entry did exactly five years ago, theoretically suggesting that two offshoot movies in 2017 meant less interest this time around.

If so, then more trouble is ahead. Familiar franchises are also cited as reasons for hope, starting with the latest “How to Train Your Dragon” in two weeks (it’s already playing foreign) and a Marvel film next month. No less familiar than “LEGO,” these could end up doing fine.

Release - Kids - Ralph - Breaks - Internet

The last major animated release was “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse;” and the last aimed more at kids “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” With “Lego,” Warners even got a break since Universal delayed “Dragon” (likely to seek more play during spring vacations).

But even with little of late drawing families — “The Kid Who Would Be King” just...
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