Box office preview: 'RoboCop' and the love stories are no match for 'The Lego Movie'

RoboCop-Box-Office.jpg

Image Credit: Columbia / Sony

It’s a 1980s showdown at the box office this icy Presidents Day weekend. Remakes of RoboCop, About Last Night, and Endless Love all open wide (even Winter’s Tale is based on a 1983 book!), but The Lego Movie will undoubtedly reign supreme in its second weekend in theaters.

Here’s how things might play out:

1. The Lego Movie — $50 million
After Lego‘s stunning $69.1 million debut, the tiny interconnecting figurines are only going to benefit from growing word-of-mouth in its second weekend in theaters. It could bring in upwards of $50 million across the four-day weekend. As of Feb. 12, Warner Bros.’ 3-D spectacle had already earned around $77.9 million domestically.

2. RoboCop — $27 million
José Padilha’s RoboCop opened in 3,366 theaters Wednesday to a soft $2.8 million (plus $28.7 million overseas). Starring Joel Kinnaman, the update of the 1987 action satire tells the story of a cop who’s critically injured and transformed into the ultimate part-man, part-robot law-enforcing machine by the evil conglomerate OmniCorp (headed up by Michael Keaton). Analysts show that the PG-13 film is tracking well among teen boys — and the returns should benefit from the fact that schools will be closed for Presidents Day. Sony and Columbia’s nearly $100 million pic also fits nicely in the now-standard Valentine’s Day alternative programming slot. Reviews have been mixed, though (EW’s Owen Gleiberman gave it a B-), and sustained buzz is key to RoboCop‘s ultimate success.

3. About Last Night — $26 million
Ed Zwick’s steamy 1986 pic starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and that bathtub got a new city and a gaggle of attractive new faces for director Steve Pink’s update. Starring Kevin Hart (whose Ride Along crossed $100 million this past weekend), Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, and Paula Patton, About Last Night opens in 2,253 theaters Friday and should do quite well. Based on David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, this film puts our romantically inclined leads in Los Angeles. So far, reviews are good (70% on Rotten Tomatoes), and the buzz is even stronger. A Valentine’s Day opening shouldn’t hurt either. Screen Gems also kept the budget quite low — estimates place it in the $12.5 million range, and, if Universal’s The Best Man Holiday‘s $30 million debut this past November is any indication, About Last Night should enjoy a healthy box office life.

4. The Monuments Men — $14 million
George Clooney’s WWII pic should hold fairly well in its second weekend in theaters. Audiences proved that the promise of the cast and the genre were enough to combat generally negative reviews last weekend.

5. Endless Love — $11 million
Magic Mike‘s Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde lead the cast of director Shana Feste’s update of Franco Zefferelli’s widely panned 1981 romantic drama starring Brooke Shields — probably best-remembered for the Lionel Richie and Diana Ross theme song. Loosely based on Scott Spencer’s novel, the latest take (rated PG-13) pairs a sheltered rich girl with a handsome, troubled working-class guy. Things spiral out of control when their fathers try to interject and control things. Reviews haven’t been great, and it’s extremely unlikely that any teenage Pettyfer fans are aware of the original film or book, but analysts are predicting a modest opening for the low-budget film, which hits 2,893 theaters on Valentine’s Day.

Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut Winter’s Tale also opens in 2,750 theaters this weekend. Starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe and Downton Abbey vet Jessica Brown Findlay, Warner Bros.’ $46 million fantasy/romance based on Marc Helprin’s novel has been getting skewered in reviews. EW’s Chris Nashawaty gave the glossy, cameo-packed PG-13 pic a C, and it’s currently hovering around 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’ll likely open outside of the top five with $10 million or less.

And just for fun, here’s a little retro box office for this decidedly retro weekend:

RoboCop (1987)
Opening Weekend: No. 1, $8 million
Total Domestic Gross: $53.4 million

About Last Night… (1986)
Opening Weekend: No. 10, $3.2 million
Total Domestic Gross: $38.7 million

Endless Love (1981)
Opening Weekend: No. 1, $4.2 million
Total Domestic Gross: $31.2 million


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