“LEGO Batman” Blasts Away All Newcomers


February 17-19, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


The LEGO Batman Movie  $32.5 million
Fifty Shades Darker $20.9 million
The Great Wall $18.0 million
John Wick: Chapter Two $16.5 million
Fist Fight $12.0 million

Falling a mere 35 percent, The LEGO Batman Movie held on to the top spot at the box office. That's the best hold for any Batman movie since Michael Keaton donned the cape and cowl in 1989. Though it's still quite a bit off from the first LEGO Movie, it's about to be only the second film of 2017 to pass $100 million. Fifty Shades Darker will get there too, but there's no denying there's a bit of diminishing returns here for audiences.

The Great Wall opened the biggest of any of the three wide releases this weekend, but it's not the monumental hit it's been in China and elsewhere. It's also Matt Damon's weakest "action hero" opening since 2010's Green ZoneThis piece highlights the complicated relationship between Hollywood and China, and how what was once a sure thing isn't quite that anymore. File this one under "failed experiment."

John Wick: Chapter Two continued its robust box office performance. In just 10 days, it's already outgrossed its predecessor and ensured Chapter Three will be here before we know it. Audiences clearly preferred Keanu Reeves' fighting skills to Ice Cube's, as Fist Fight only took in about $12 million. I expect it will play better once it hits DVD and Blu-ray.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Kedi, a documentary about that darn cat, added six more screens. It averaged $11,214 on each one.
  • A Cure for Wellness was not a cure for the box office blues. The creepy thriller debuted all the way back at No. 10 with only $4.2 million.
  • The Comedian is no laughing matter. The dramedy starring Robert De Niro as an aging comic has been out for nine weeks and hasn't even cracked $2 million.

Next week:

Get Out is going to say just that to the competition, opening with $25 million. It will obliterate Rock Dog and Collide, both of which I didn't even know existed until just now.



About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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