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Box office update: 'Lego' and 'About Last Night' freeze out the competition with $13 million each on Friday

The Lego Movie built a second floor to its box office success yesterday, earning $13.03 million and just beating out the Kevin Hart-starring About Last Night, a remake of the Rob Lowe- and Demi Moore-topped 1986 comedy.

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

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: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Lego Movie' stacks up $69.1 million for 'awesome' debut, 'Monuments Men' steals second with $22.7 million

Everything is awesome for the team behind The Lego Movie (Cinema Score: A). The 3D animated extravaganza is estimated to have earned a spectacular $69.11 million this weekend — the biggest opening of the still young year, and the second largest February opening ever (the top spot belongs to 2004’s Passion of the Christ). The Phil Lord and Christopher Miller movie blew past studio and analyst predictions, which had the pic in the $40 to $55 million range. Playing in 3,775 theaters, most of which were in 3D, Lego scored an incredible $18,307 per location average, and, including overseas profits ($18.1 million from 34 territories), The Lego Movie has already stacked up $87.2 million.

The Lego Movie is Warner Bros.’ first animated release in three years. Village Roadshow co-financed the pic. Featuring the vocal talents of Chris Pratt as Emmet the construction worker, Will Ferrell as the evil Lord Business, Elizabeth Banks as the brilliant Wyldstyle, Liam Neeson as Bad Cop, and Will Arnett as Batman, Lego resonated with both adults and children — 60% of the audience was over 18 years old. A sequel is reportedly already in the works.

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Box office update: 'The Lego Movie' builds a $17.1 million Friday, 'Monuments Men' surprises with $7 million

The toys of everyone’s youth are on track to strike box office gold. Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie (Cinema Score: A) pulled in an astonishing $17.1 million Friday, far exceeding studio expectations and putting the movie on track for at least a $56 – $60 million weekend.

The $60 million film from writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller effectively iced Frozen’s 11-week reign (which, at $1.41 million, didn’t even make Friday’s top five). The joint Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow pic played in 3,775 theaters, and a sequel is reportedly already in development with screenwriters Jared Stern and Michelle Morgan. But as far as February records are concerned, Lego still has a long way to go to surpass Passion of the Christ’s $83.8 million 2004 debut.

Meanwhile, George Clooney’s star-packed The Monuments Men (CinemaScore: B+) had a $7 million Friday which could put the World War II pic on track for a $20 million opening weekend. The poor critical response to the film (still holding at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes) is clearly not affecting people’s decisions to enjoy the undeniably charming cast of Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, The Artists’s Jean Dujardin, and Moonrise Kingdom’s Bob Balaban. Argo, another recent adult-targeted film, had a similar $19.5 million debut.

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Box office preview: 'The Lego Movie' could be 2014's first big 'block'buster

George Clooney and gorgeous teenage vampires have a formidable box office foe this weekend: Legos. And it looks like both will crumble in the face of the tiny plastic figurines.

The idea of a Lego movie seems absurd on paper. A cynical, nostalgia-based cash grab akin to Battleship exploits, right? Well, Warner Bros. and its co-financier Village Roadshow seem not only to have avoided those trappings, but created a film that transcends the medium thanks to wry writing and directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who charmed with both Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. EW’s Owen Gleiberman wrote in his “A” review: “It may be a helter-skelter kiddie adventure built out of plastic toy components, but it’s fast and original, it’s conceptually audacious, it’s visually astonishing, and it’s 10 times more clever and smart and funny than it needed to be.”

In a box office market where Frozen has dominated the family slate for over 11 weeks (with an honorable mention for The Nut Job), The Lego Movie looks primed to walk away with 2014’s biggest opening to date.

Here’s how things might play out this weekend:

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Box office update: 'Ride Along' stays on top with $12 million

It’s no easy task getting people to the theaters on Super Bowl weekend. But Universal’s Ride Along managed to cruise right on by new releases such as That Awkward Moment and Labor Day for its third straight weekend in the top spot, earning an estimated $12 million and bringing its total to $93 million.

The takeaway from this will surely be that of the bankable talents of Kevin Hart. The comedian has long lent a helping hand in films (Think Like a Man, This is the End) to say nothing of his popular stand-up specials. His easy chemistry with Ice Cube helped lift Ride Along to an “A” approval rating with CinemaScore and this seems to be the movie that will finally push Hart into a new stratosphere of stardom. (Personally, I’m very excited for Hart to join Louis C.K. in an a yet untitled animated film from the creator of Despicable Me. Hart will be playing a bunny, Snowball, who is the leader of abandoned pets.)

And that’s not the only good news for Universal: Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch, crossed the $100 million dollar mark this weekend, making an additional $7.2 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Ride Along' continues to roll with $4 million on Friday

We are officially living in a golden Hart and Cube era: Universal’s comedy Ride Along continues to dominate the box office — after breaking the record for a January opening in its first two weekends — bringing in an additional estimated $4 million on Friday night. This brings the Kevin Hart/Ice Cube $25 million comedy up to a total of $84.7 million.

But That Awkward Moment is definitely in Ride Along‘s rearview mirror: for its opening weekend in 2,809 locations, the bromantic comedy took in an estimated $3.9 million on Friday. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, and Zac Efron are nice counter-programming for women on Super Bowl weekend, but Focus Features was probably hoping for a bigger debut.

Meanwhile, in addition to claiming the No. 1 slot, there’s more good news for Universal: Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor took in an estimated $2.3 million on Friday, bringing its domestic total to just about the magical $100 million dollar mark. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'That Awkward Moment' may push 'Ride Along' to sidelines

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Bro-dominated buddy comedies are set to face off Super Bowl weekend and it looks like the guys of That Awkward Moment might see Ride Along slowing to a crawl after two weekends of box-office dominance. Jason Reitman’s romantic drama Labor Day, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, is opening wide and Disney is also trying something new with the addition of the Frozen sing-along version — it was Fandango’s top-seller this past week.

Not surprisingly, Super Bowl weekend is notoriously slow at the movies. Last year the romantic zombie comedy Warm Bodies opened just over $20 million in the same timeframe, while male-targeted films, including Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head, bombed. This weekend seems poised to continue the trend as game day approaches.

Here’s how things might play out:

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Box office report: 'Ride Along' runs over 'I, Frankenstein'

The Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along continued to speed through a typically quiet box-office frame, while the monster thriller I, Frankenstein couldn’t be roused from the dead.

Universal’s buddy cop comedy Ride Along, co-starring Ice Cube, cruised to the top of the box office again, taking in $21.2 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The film last week set a January debut record, with $48.6 million over the three-day holiday weekend.

For the second weekend in a row, Universal claimed No. 1 and No. 2 at the box office, with the Afghanistan war film Lone Survivor earning $12.6 million in its fifth week. With a cumulative total of $93.6 million, the relatively inexpensive Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, will soon cross the $100 million mark. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'I, Frankenstein' won't look alive next to 'Ride Along'

Only one new release is hitting theaters this weekend: I, Frankenstein, the Aaron Eckhart action thriller with a distinctly Van Helsing/Underworld vibe to it. Chances are, the creature feature won’t be able to lurch past Ride Along to capture a weekend win. Here’s how the box office might play out:

1. Ride Along – $21 million
The Ice Cube/Kevin Hart buddy cop comedy scored the best January opening of all time last weekend, drawing $41.5 million in its first three days (and $48.6 million over the extended holiday frame). A 50 percent drop would give it another $21 million and a scorching $75 million total.
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