'Lego Movie 2' falls short with debut

A scene from 'Lego Movie 2.' Handout

A scene from 'Lego Movie 2.' Handout

At the top of the box office, Warner Bros.'s The LEGO Movie 2 brought in an estimated $34.4 million, falling well short of the anticipated $50-55 million the studio was anticipating heading into the weekend.

Warner Bros.' "Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" took the top spot at the North American box office in its opening weekend with an estimated 35 million USA dollars. But unlike the film's anthem, everything is was not awesome for the sequel in its first three days in theatres.

The animated adventure comedy film is a direct sequel to 2014's "The Lego Movie".

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo known for movies like "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and "21 Jump Street", returned to write and produce "The Lego Movie 2".

The new edition again features the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett - joined this time by Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph - in a story about love, chaos and revenge in a grim, post-apocalyptic toyland.

With a budget of $100 million, not including marketing costs, it looks like The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is going to struggle to turn a profit, and with last year's The LEGO Ninjago Movie failing to set the box office alight, it remains to be seen how much life is left in The LEGO Movie franchise. Audiences gave LEGO 2 an "A-" CinemaScore, matching the same score for LEGO Batman, though the films have been trending increasingly male with LEGO 2 playing to an audience that was 57% male, the largest gender discrepancy among all four films so far. Directed by Adam Shankman and starring Taraji P. Henson and Aldis Hodge among others, the film follows a female sports agent who gains the ability to hear men's thoughts after drinking a mysterious concoction given by a shaman.

Cold Pursuit is a 2019 American black comedy action film directed by Hans Petter Moland (in his Hollywood debut) from a screenplay by Frank Baldwin. Neeson made headlines this week for making racially charged comments about his friend's rape.

The final new release of the weekend, "The Prodigy", secured sixth place with a $5.8 million debut from 2,530 locations. The plot centers around a child, whose disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force possessed him, forcing his parents to investigate whether sinister forces are involved.

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