"The Lego Movie" makes an awesome debut on North American box office. Boasted with positive reviews and a rare A grade from CinemaScore, the Warner Bros. animated movie from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the director duo of "21 Jump Street" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" movie franchises, opens with a solid $69.1 million over the weekend.
The movie has a wide array of A-listers like Will Arnett, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to voice some of fans' favorite heroes such as Batman, Superman and Green Lantern. They team up to help an ordinary construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) who is mistaken for the one destined to save the Lego universe from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell).
"Lego Movie" posts the biggest opening of the year so far, and the second largest February opening ever after Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" which debuted to $83.8 million in late February a decade ago. Costing $60 million to produce, the 3D pic adds $18.1 million overseas to rake in a total of an estimated $87.2 million. 60% of the ticket buyers was over 18 years old.
"The Monuments Men", a true-story film from George Clooney, also makes a promising debut over the weekend. Initially set to be released late last year, the flick that follows a team who is on a mission to recover art from the Nazis starts at the second place with $22.7 million against a budget of $70 million. It stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett.
Getting a B+ from CinemaScore, the World War II movie marks the biggest debut for a film directed by Clooney after "The Ides of March" which opened at $10.5 million in 2011 and "Leatherheads" which started at $12.7 million in 2008. While "Lego Movie" attracted both adults and children, this film seemed to appeal to older audience with 75% of attendees over 35 years old.
Last week's No. 1 "Ride Along" has to relinquish the throne after holding it for three straight weeks to settle at No. 3 now with additional $9.4 million (21.9% decrease). The Universal cop comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube crossed $100 million mark in domestic total. Hart's comedy "Think Like a Man" collected $91.5 million in 2012.
The third and only biggest debut on the top 10 after "The Lego Movie" and "Monuments Men" is "Vampire Academy" which was adapted from Richelle Mead's young-adult best-selling novel. After its midnight screening gaffe, it could only debut at the seventh place with a mere $4.1 million. Directed by "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls" helmer Mark Waters, it actually gets a B- grade from CinemaScore.