February 9, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Lego Movie 2” Cracks, “What Men Want” & “Cold Pursuit” OK


THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) is looking like a textbook example of a studio watering down its own franchise.  Warners jumped into 2 spin-offs before even reaching its first official sequel, and the result according to early numbers at Deadline is a $8.9M opening day, down 48% from the first day for the first Lego Movie, and even worse than that looks, because $2.1M of that number is from a combination of Thursday night and previous paid previews.  Lego 2 is on track for a $32M weekend, and possibly not much more than $100M in the US, especially with How To Train Your Dragon 3 just 2 weeks away, on costs that will be at least $225M with worldwide marketing taken into account.  The Lego franchise hasn’t been a bonanza overseas (only Lego Ninjago earned more internationally than in the US, and just barely), so Lego 2 may struggle to break even.

WHAT MEN WANT (Paramount) is performing within expectations at $6.7M on Friday (including $1.3M from Thursday night) for an $18M weekend.  It might reach $60M in the US, although it’s not clear how much of an international release Paramount plans, since even Girls Trip, a smash hit here, made only 18% of its total box office overseas.

It doesn’t seem as though Liam Neeson’s recent controversy much affected the opening of COLD PURSUIT (Studiocanal/Summit/Lionsgate), since its $3.6M Friday and likely $10M weekend are in line with prior tracking estimates.  That would be Neeson’s lowest action-movie start, but not far from the recent openings of The Commuter ($13.7M), Run All Night ($11M) and A Walk Among The Tombstones ($12.8M).

The weekend’s other opening was the low-budget horror movie THE PRODIGY (Orion/MGM), with $2M on Friday and a possible $5M weekend and a US total that won’t be much higher than $10M.  As is usually the case with this genre, the claim is that if only a tiny number of people pay for tickets, it will somehow show a profit, despite what are likely to be $20M+ in costs.

Holdovers will look relatively good this weekend, because Sunday will be much stronger than last week’s Super Bowl allowed.  THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) dipped 28% on its 5th Friday to $1.8M for a $6M weekend that will put $100M in its US sights.

GLASS (Blinding Edge/Blumhouse/Universal) is looking for a 35% Weekend 4 drop to $6M, still on track for $110M in the US.

GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) dropped 33% from last Friday to $850K, and may hit $3M for the weekend.  It’s on its way to $65M or so in the US, but that may go higher depending on what happens on Oscar night.

AQUAMAN (DC/Warners) is still selling tickets, down 42% to $700K Friday-to-Friday, and aiming for $3M for the weekend, as it heads to $335M in the US.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) was down 41% from last Friday to $650K, for a $2.5M weekend and $185M US total.

Last weekend’s opening MISS BALA (Columbia/Sony) fell an ugly 74% from last Friday to $700K, and may have $2.5M for the weekend, unlikely to see $20M in the US.




About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."