Weekend Box Office: The Lego Movie Hits a High for Warner Brothers


After three straight weeks of Universal's Ride Along cruising to a box office win, a trio of new films descended on theaters and made their mark. But one had a larger impact than the others.

Source: Warner Brothers.

The line
The Lego Movie from Warner Brothers a subsidiary of Time Warner

Finish: 1st place / Est. budget: $60 million / 3-day estimated total: $69.1 million

The analysis
Legos rule! That's the message audiences sent loud and clear this weekend as Warner Brothers The Lego Movie dominated the box office with an estimated total take of $69.1 million. This was a major win for the studio that broke two impressive records.

The Lego Movie is now the studio's best February opener ever and gave Warner Brothers its most successful animated opening of all time. It topped Happy Feet, which earned $41.5 million in 2006.

The movie had been picking up buzz and it all came to a head when it scored around $18 million on its opening day. It's also expected to continue its good fortune as the next big children's movie isn't until the DreamWorks Animation flick Mr. Peabody & Sherman opens on March 7.

The future
The list of movies Warner Brothers has opening in 2014 is impressive and includes everything from the final Hobbit film to the big-screen adaptation of Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys. Having The Lego Movie dominate the way it did puts the studio in a position for a monster year.

The line
The Monuments Men from Columbia Pictures and Sony

Finish: 2nd place / Est. budget: $70 million / 3-day estimated total: $22.7 million

The analysis
Despite less than stellar reviews, The Monuments Men had a very nice weekend. What was referred to as a World War II era edition of Ocean's Eleven will see an estimated $22.7 million over three days. Just as analysts are now aware you can't underestimate the power of Legos, critics are learning you can't underestimate the power of George Clooney.

The insanely charismatic star was everywhere this week, along with his talented friends and co-stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and John Goodman. Moved from the end of 2013 in order to give producers more time to complete the film (and avoid the 2013 awards race completely), the decision paid off.

The future
Sony/Columbia has a busy February with three releases, including the reboot of RoboCop and the Valentine's Day rom-com About Last Night. Still that pales in comparison to the studio's summer slate, which presently has a total of seven films. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicks it all off this May.

The Monuments Men had a solid opening and was great counter-programming to The Lego Movie. All in all, it was a good start to the year for the studio.

The line
Vampire Academy from The Weinstein Company

Finish: 7th place / Est. budget: NA / 3-day estimated total: $4.1 million

The analysis
This was a disappointment, but one that wasn't entirely surprising. The teen targeted flick was originally scheduled to debut next week, but the studio wisely moved it up to avoid going head to head with RoboCop and a trio of Valentines Day flicks. It wasn't that heavily promoted and many weren't sure what it was about, which led to the low numbers.

The future
This is a blip on the radar for the studio and won't have a significant impact on its bottom line. The company prides itself on being a yearly award contender and that should continue to be the case in 2014.

As per custom, the studio has continued to make high-profile purchases at the various top film festivals and also held back one or two of its buzzier releases from last year's slate to bolster its overall roster. They have the experience and award season savvy (and track record) that an off week for one its more wide appeal releases will quickly be an afterthought.

While it may not have that many releases at the moment, that won't be the case for long. If one studio knows how to properly schedule and space out films, it's this one.

The next step for you
Want to figure out how to profit on business analysis like this? The key is to learn how to turn business insights into portfolio gold by taking your first steps as an investor. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even give you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

The article Weekend Box Office: The Lego Movie Hits a High for Warner Brothers originally appeared on Fool.com.

Brett Gold has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published