So far 2017 has only seen one film open higher than $30 million, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, which opened with $40 million on the weekend of January 20th. This weekend, three films are opening north of $30 million, and while the numbers are big, the three films combined barely eked out more than the surprise $132 million Deadpool put up on this weekend last year. (Interestingly, Deadpool combined the sex, violence, and subversive genre bending comedy of the three new releases this weekend).
We’ll start with The LEGO Batman Movie, the follow up to 2014’s smash-hit The LEGO Movie, which also opened in February 2014 with $69 million domestic on its way to a $469 million worldwide haul (on only a $60 million budget). The spin-off The LEGO Batman cost $20 million more, and will end the weekend with around $15 million less than the original, but $56 million is a nice sum considering that much of New England was blanketed in snow. More importantly, like The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie is expected to dominate the kids-and-parents market well into March, barring competition from, uh, Rock Dog, though most parents would gladly watch The LEGO Batman Movie a second or third time with their kids before watching Rock Dog once. As Mike Ryan pointed out, The LEGO Batman Movie is the first fun DC movie, and in many ways, the jokes are targeted more at the parents than the kids. The film also scored well with critics (91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences, who gave it an A on Cinemascore. Look for The LEGO Batman Movie to keep the franchise momentum up ahead of September’s The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, which looks like another winner for LEGO.