Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ still no. 1 as Kevin Hart hits again with ‘About Last Night’

“The Lego Movie” continued to charm audiences this holiday weekend, but the bigger story is the emergence of Kevin Hart as a true box office superstar.

Passing the $100 million mark in just nine days on Saturday, “The Lego Movie” earned a smashing $48.1 million for the weekend with an estimated $129 million to date. Based on Saturday and Sunday’s matinees the Warner Bros. Animation hit may even be no. 1 next weekend if it can get by Kevin Costner’s new thriller and the disaster flick “Pompeii.” With a reported production budget of just $60 million (low for an animated film) and international openings in major territories just starting to trickle in, “Lego Movie” success should more than make up for the loss Warner Bros. will likely take on another film that just opened (more on that later).

Keeping his hot streak alive in the second slot was the romantic comedy “About Last Night.” Headlined by Kevin Hart, the Screen Gems release earned $27 million through Sunday and it’s already recouped its production budget of $12.5 million in just three days.  It’s also Hart’s second big opening of 2014 after “Ride Along” opened to $41.5 million last month. Even with a current cume of $116 million, “Along’s” distributor, Universal Pictures, will have to wonder how much potential box office it lost with “Last Night” entering the marketplace.  Hart currently has one more release set for this year, “Think Like A Man Too,” a sequel to his breakout 2012 hit.

Third place went to Sony Pictures and MGM’s “Robocop.”  The remake of the 1987 cult classic earned $21.5 million for the three-day frame and has taken in $26.4 million since Wednesday. “Robocop” had the unfortunate luck of debuting during a massive East Coast and Southern winter storm which severely affected its first two days.  Sony and MGM will have to hope word of mouth will help the domestic total and that International can help make up its $100 million production budget (it’s earned $69 million overseas so far). In hindsight, this frame may have been too crowded for the expected tentpole.

Fourth place went to the third Sony Pictures release in the top five, “The Monuments Men,” with another $15 million and $43.6 million to date. George Clooney’s latest directorial effort received mixed reviews, but it fell only 31.8% from its opening weekend which means older moviegoers are still seeking it out. Sony sold International rights to 20th Century Fox allowing it to only be on the hook for $35 million of the drama’s $70 million production budget. It also means “Men” should easily climb into the black for the studio.

A strange player over the weekend was Universal Pictures’ “Endless Love” which ended up in fifth place. The romance earned $13.3 million for the three-day, but dropped an eye-popping 52% from Friday to Saturday as fans of the Scott Spencer novel had their fill on opening day and that was pretty much it. Don’t expect this “Love” to last much longer in theaters.

That movie Warner Bros. can’t be happy with is Akiva Goldsman’s “Winter’s Tale.” The long in the works adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel found just $7.7 million in its first three days. It received some scathing reviews, but did manage a B Cinemascore rating. Chances are it won’t be in theaters for long.

New releases on Friday include “3 Days to Kill” and “Pompeii.”

Final box office figures will be released following President’s Day on Tuesday.