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Wednesday, October 01, 2014, 1:32 a.m.
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Lego Movie towers over 3 remakes

By BEN LIVESEY AND CHRISTIE SMYTHE BLOOMBERG

This article was published February 21, 2014 at 2:57 a.m.

The Lego Movie, the animated film from Warner Bros., held off three remakes from the 1980s to lead ticket sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second week.

Based on the Danish building-brick toys, The Lego Movie collected $62.4 million for Time Warner Inc.’s studio last week, Rentrak Corp. said. About Last Night, starring Kevin Hart, placed second with $27.8 million in its debut for Columbia.

Favorable reviews and a lack of competition have buoyed The Lego Movie, which features characters like Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that are used as figurines by Lego A/S, the Danish maker of the toy bricks.

The Lego Movie was directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, whose credits include the 2009 animated Columbia hit Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It features the voices of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman.

The film had the best opening of 2014 last week, giving Warner Bros its first No. 1 of the year, and will probably start a new franchise for the studio, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak.

With the Monday holiday for George Washington’s birthday, The Lego Movie was projected to take in $60 million over the four days, the estimate of BoxOffice.com.

About Last Night, one of three romantic movies released to take advantage of Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, is a remake of the 1986 romantic comedy that starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The new film moves to Los Angeles from Chicago and follows two couples who see their relationships tested in the real world.

Hart demonstrated his box-office pulling power with the buddy-cop movie Ride Along, which was No. 1 at theaters for two weekends after its debut last month.

About Last Night received a 75 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com and was projected to take $26.5 million over the four-day weekend by BoxOffice.com.

Taking third was RoboCop, a remake of the acclaimed 1987 hit, which generated $25 million for Columbia in its debut. The film, about a part-man, part-machine police officer, stars Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) in the title role, which was filled by Peter Weller in the original.

Critically injured in the line of duty, he is rebuilt by a technology conglomerate that sees the chance to profit by providing a RoboCop in every city. The movie also features Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.

RoboCop, which was released on Feb. 12, got a 50 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com. It was made for $100 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and projected by BoxOffice.com to collect $28 million over four days.

Endless Love, from Universal Pictures, and Winter’s Tale, from Warner Bros., were the other two date movies to make their debuts in wide release.

Endless Love, a reboot of the 1981 hit with Brooke Shields, took in about $14 million to place fifth. Starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, it follows an affair between a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose parents try to thwart their relationship.

Winter’s Tale is about a burglar who learns that he has the gift of reincarnation. The character, played by Colin Farrell, seeks to bring back an heiress he is taken with and who dies in his arms. The movie collected about $8 million to place eighth.

MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 02/21/2014

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