‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Puts Together $55.6 Million to Top Box Office

“The Lego Batman Movie” soared to the box office crown this weekend, bringing in $55.6 million at 4,088 locations as a family audience helped carry the Warner Bros. film past Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman from “The Lego Movie” in the film written and directed by Chris McKay. The voices of Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes also feature in the animated movie, which carries a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Lego Batman” began its run with a modest $2.2 million at the Thursday night box office and couldn’t pass “Fifty Shades Darker” on Friday, but its younger target audience apparently turned out during more family-friendly parts of the weekend. Warner Bros. had initially projected a $60 million opening weekend for “Lego Batman,” but others have forecast as much as $70 million.

Also Read: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review: Animated Superhero Saga Clicks Spoof to Sincerity

Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker” topped the Thursday and Friday charts, but slid into second place for the weekend, locking up $46.8 million at 3,710 locations.

The studio had projected  an opening weekend of $39 to $44 million for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequel, which “Darker” topped, but its opening weekend was significantly lower than the original. That one, which also starred Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, opened to $85 million on Valentine’s Day weekend two years ago on its way to $571 million worldwide.

James Foley directed the movie, which is based on the erotic novel series by E.L. James.

Also Read: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Locks in $21.5 Million at Friday Box Office

Lionsgate/Summit’s “John Wick: Chapter 2” blasted its way to a solid $30 million at 3,113 theaters, good enough for third place. Keanu Reeves stars as the eponymous hitman in the sequel to the 2014 original, which made $43 million domestically and another $43 million abroad. A stellar 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and the fact that its two main competitors targeted different audiences likely helped contribute to that strong start.

The studio had initially projected an opening weekend in the mid-teens, but raised that bar as the film has been building momentum, with others estimating up to $31 million. Still, the movie’s actual gross more than doubled the performance of the first “John Wick,” which debuted to $14.4 million, making it one of the few sequels to outdo the original.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” was directed by Chad Stahelski from a script by Derek Kolstad. John Leguizamo, Common, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick also feature in the film.

Also Read: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Chains Up $5.7 Million at Thursday Box Office

Universal’s “Split,” which had topped the box office the previous three weeks, placed fourth with $9.3 million at 2,961 locations. The movie has grossed $112.3 million domestically since its release.

M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller stars James McAvoy  as a man with 23 different personalities, a performance that has garnered plenty of accolades from those who have seen the film.

Best Picture nominee “Hidden Figures” finished fifth at the weekend box office, as the Fox film added $8.1 million over the weekend to take its total to $131.5 million. The movie stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as mathematicians and engineers who were instrumental in sending some of NASA’s first missions into space.

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Will ‘Lego Batman’ Spank ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ at the Box Office?

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‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Chains Up $5.7 Million at Thursday Box Office

LEGO Colbert interviews LEGO Batman on ‘The Late Show’

Stephen Colbert brought both Will Arnett and LEGO Batman himself on The Late Show Friday night for an interview between minifigures.

Arnett, who voices the Dark Knight in this weekend’s The LEGO Batman Movie, reprised the character again in voicing a LEGO Batman figure standing on Colbert’s desk. It was joined by a LEGO in the likeness of the fearless late-night host, and the two had a brief chat about on-set pranks and Arnett’s “cuckoo handsome” looks.

“I’m always doing stuff,” LEGO Batman said. “I learned from Cloon-dog how to do pranks on set, and I was always putting cans of tuna in peoples’ dressing rooms and turning the heat on high, and it would really stink the join up.”

“It was lovely having you on, Batman,” LEGO Colbert later joked. “I usually make out with my guests.”

Watch the subsequent LEGO make-out session and the full LEGO interview in the clip above.

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Locks in $21.5 Million at Friday Box Office

Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker” attracted plenty of Friday night moviegoers, as the sexy drama reeled in $21.5 million at 3,710 locations.

The studio is projecting an opening weekend of $39 – $44 million for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequel, which would be a significant drop from the original.That one, which also starred Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, opened to $85 million on Valentine’s Day weekend two years ago. “Fifty Shades of Grey” went on to reel in $571 million worldwide.

“Fifty Shades Darker” also topped the Thursday charts with $5.7 million despite an abysmal 10 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s not expected to win the weekend, as “The Lego Batman Movie” should draw plenty of Saturday and Sunday daytime moviegoers.

“Darker,”  based on the erotic novel series by E.L. James, is directed by James Foley.

Also Read: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Chains Up $5.7 Million at Thursday Box Office

“The Lego Batman Movie” placed second at the Saturday box office, clicking its way to $15 million at 4,088 locations. Chris McKay wrote and directed the Warner Bros. film, which stars Will Arnett as the title character, reprising his role from “The Lego Movie.”

The film carries an estimated $80 million production budget. Critics seem to love the animated movie based on the iconic toys, giving it a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Lego Batman” began its run with a modest $2.2 million at the Thursday night box office and couldn’t pass “Fifty Shades Darker” on Friday, but its family target audience should turn out for earlier showtimes later in the weekend. The first “Lego Movie” made just $400,000 in Thursday night preview shows, which didn’t stop it from a $69 million opening weekend.

Warner Bros. had projected a $60 million opening weekend for “Lego Batman,” but others have forecast as much as $70 million. Lego Batman will play on 376 bigger — and pricier — IMAX screens, which should help boost its box office gross.

Also Read: Will ‘Lego Batman’ Spank ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ at the Box Office?

Lionsgate/Summit’s “John Wick: Chapter 2” shot its way to third place Friday, with $11 million at 3,113 theaters. Keanu Reeves stars as the eponymous hitman in the sequel to the 2014 original, which made $43 million domestically and another $43 million abroad. With a stellar 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and a strong start, the sequel is on track to top the original.

The studio had initially projected an opening weekend in the mid-teens, but raised that bar as the film has been building momentum, with others estimating up to $31 million. That would more than double the performance of the first “John Wick,” which debuted to $14.4 million.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” was directed by Chad Stahelski from a script by Derek Kolstad. John Leguizamo, Common, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick also feature in the film.

Also Read: Can You Spot ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’s’ Hidden ‘Arrested Development’ Reference?

Three-time defending box office champion “Split” dipped to fourth place Friday, taking home $2.7 million from 2,961 locations.

James McAvoy stars as a man with 23 different personalities in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller, which has become the first surprise hit of 2017. The film has reeled in $103 million at the domestic box office on an estimated $9 million budget.

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‘Lego Batman Movie’ Is ‘The Best Batman Film in Years’ And 8 Other Soaring Reviews

Critics are raving about “The Lego Batman Movie,” the sequel to 2014’s “The Lego Movie.”

Currently holding a score of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera and Ralph Fiennes is being praised as “the best Batman film in years.”

“The opening five minutes of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ are funnier and more original than most entire comedies I’ve seen over the last few months — and the superhero/supervillain dynamic explored in this film is more involving and insightful than many a comic-book movie plot of the past several years,” wrote Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper.

Also Read: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review: Animated Superhero Saga Clicks Spoof to Sincerity

TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde wrote: ‘Less a sequel to ‘The Lego Movie’ than a big-screen, family-friendly version of Adult Swim’s blackout-sketch show ‘Robot Chicken,’ ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ gleefully parodies every mass-media iteration of its hero, from the serials to ‘Super Friends’ and from Adam West to Ben Affleck. While hard-core devotees will enjoy an overflowing basket of Easter eggs, you don’t have to be a super-fan to enjoy its crafty mix of outlandish verbal humor and outrageous visuals.”

The animated film hits theaters on Friday.

See 9 of the best reviews below.

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald:

“Like the trailers promised, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is a dazzling, knockabout, joke-a-second comedy set in the DC Comics universe that’s so overstuffed with gags that catching them all in one viewing is impossible. The pace is frantic but never exhausting. The humor ranges from ‘Mad’ magazine-silly to surprisingly sophisticated, and the antics are witty and inventive (the screenplay is credited to five writers, all of whom earned their keep). If the guys who made the ‘Airplane!’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ pictures had trained their sights on the superhero genre, the result might have looked a lot like this.”

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times:

“Even though Arnett is voicing an animated, blocky, plastic toy, I’d rank his raspy, narcissistic, brave, vulnerable, alternately heroic and ridiculous version of the Dark Knight ahead of the big-budget, live-action performances of Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Val Kilmer, among others. The opening five minutes of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ are funnier and more original than most entire comedies I’ve seen over the last few months — and the superhero/supervillain dynamic explored in this film is more involving and insightful than many a comic-book movie plot of the past several years.”

Also Read: Will ‘Lego Batman’ Spank ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ at the Box Office?

Clarisse Loughrey, Independent:

“There’s no doubt, ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ delivers a deliriously fun ride that likely to stand up surprisingly well amongst the rest of this year’s superhero films.”

Rafer Guzman, Newsday:

“Welcome to ‘The Lego Batman Movie,’ the self-mocking follow-up to 2014’s animated hit ‘The Lego Movie.’ One of that marvelous movie’s best ideas was casting Batman as a brooding, self-absorbed dork who seemed less like a crime-fighter than an overgrown Goth. With the raspy voice of Will Arnett, who returns here for a major encore, Lego Batman is a spot-on spoof — but can he carry his own movie? The answer is yes, though Batman gets tremendous help from five screenwriters (including Rockville Centre native Seth Grahame-Smith, of ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’) who supply an abundance of jokes, quips and physical comedy routines.”

Jonathan Pile, Empire Online:

“A highly quotable, visual treat that’s packed with in-jokes but is entertaining enough on its own terms to work for fans and non-fans alike. The best Batman film in years.”

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle:

“‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is less awesome than its predecessor, but it’s a clever, well-paced, self-aware and completely satisfying kind of less awesome. It takes the most entertaining secondary character from the first film, then builds 104 minutes around him with little fatigue. All inferior sequels should be as fun as this one.”

Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly:

“Everything is still awesome in the Lego Movie universe!!! All right, maybe not everything. But enough things. And in a young movie year when the biggest box office hit showcases a deranged man mutilating teen girls for kicks (for shame, ‘Split,’ for shame), let’s cheer an ultra-accessible blockbuster that packs in clever laughs, not to mention fun pows! and bams! to please the Batman faithful. Indeed, if any character from the marvelous 2014 hit ‘The Lego Movie’ warranted a spinoff, it’s Will Arnetts why-so-serious Caped Crusader.”

See Video: New ‘Lego Batman Movie’ Trailer Mocks ‘Batman v Superman’

Brian Truitt, USA Today:

“The not-so-Dark Knight returns in the joyously bonkers ‘The Lego Batman Movie,’ and he’s not only the hero we need right now but also the one we deserve.”

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic:

“‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ is terrific fun, with Will Arnett voicing the Caped Crusader as an arrogant jerk. It’s a sequel that holds up in every way … What a treat ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ is. As they say in the first film (except this time for real): Everything is awesome.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Will ‘Lego Batman’ Spank ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ at the Box Office?

“The Lego Batman Movie,” featuring the voice of Will Arnett as the Caped Crusader, is expected to be number one at the box office for at least the next two coming weeks, starting with a debut weekend of $64 million to $70 million this weekend.

That means “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” will be no match for the animated film — According to Universal, the erotic thriller is looking at three-day opening of just under $40 million. Although, trackers are split and can see the film grossing anywhere in the $39 million to $57 million range this weekend.

Warner Bros. is a little more conservative with its estimates for “Lego Batman,” anticipating a $60 million gross for the animated film when it opens in 4,000 plus theaters this weekend. It currently holds a score of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also Read: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review: Animated Superhero Saga Clicks Spoof to Sincerity

Written and directed by Chris McKay, the spin-off from 2014’s “The Lego Movie” also stars the voices of Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes.  Its budget was $80 million, compared to the $60 million budget for “The Lego Movie,” which earned $69 million its opening weekend and went on to pull in $257.8 million domestically.

Despite being largely panned by critics and audiences, “Fifty Shades of Grey” opened to a stellar $85 million in February, 2015, going on to earn $166 million domestically and $571 million worldwide off its $40 million budget.

While estimates vary widely, we’re told that the budget for “Fifty Shades Darker” is “in line” with its predecessor. But that its expected opening weekend haul is lower than for “Grey” is, so sources say, just a matter of timing, as Valentine’s Day, which fell on a weekend in 2015, happens on a Tuesday this year.

Based on the erotic novel series by E. L. James, “Fifty Shades Darker” sees Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprising their roles as main characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote also star. James Foley directs “Fifty Shades Darker,” while Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti return to produce alongside James.

See Video: Jimmy Fallon, Dakota Johnson Act Out ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Mad Lib Style

The Keanu Reeves-starring “John Wick Chapter 2” opens in over 3,000 locations this weekend and is already being hailed by critics – it currently holds a score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even so, the studio conservatively expects it to earn in the mid-to-high teens. Box office experts however have the Lionsgate/Summit film at $19 million to $22 million, with the possibility of going even higher.

If so, it’ll top “John Wick,” which opened to $14.4 million in 2014. (It eventually made $86 million off its $20 million budget.) That film currently holds a score of 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Directed by Chad Stahelski from a script by Derek Kolstad, “John Wick Chapter 2” sees legendary hitman John Wick (Reeves) back, once again, from retirement and heading off to Rome to face off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. John Leguizamo, Common, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick also star.

Box office hit “Split,” starring James McAvoy, will take the fourth place this weekend after having incredible legs since its debut on Jan. 20. The $9 million production has earned almost $100 million.

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Will Arnett Wanted to Explore Why Batman Has ‘No Friends’ With ‘The Lego Batman Movie’

Even the Joker thinks the world is “insane” currently. At an action-packed premiere for “The Lego Batman Movie” at the Regency Theater on Saturday, Will Arnett posed in front of a life-sized Lego bat-mobile (it’s surprising he didn’t arrive in it), DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson arrived wearing a Batman-inspired custom jacket made entirely out of… Read more »

‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review: Animated Superhero Saga Clicks Spoof to Sincerity

In the decades since “Airplane!” many filmmakers have assaulted audiences with a barrage of gag after gag, but only a few have realized that there has to be a structure to support those jokes. For “Airplane!” it meant making audiences take the disaster elements (borrowed directly from the non-comedy “Zero Hour!”) at least a little seriously.

For “The Lego Batman Movie,” that structure is, of all things, Batman’s emotional growth from a loner to someone who will allow himself to have a family. And while that premise might sound like a comedy-killer, it’s actually the opposite. Not only does the Dark Knight’s inner development give the animated film some emotional stakes, it also demonstrates that the filmmakers understand this character far more than Zack Snyder, apparently, ever will.

Less a sequel to “The Lego Movie” than a big-screen, family-friendly version of Adult Swim’s blackout-sketch show “Robot Chicken,” “The Lego Batman Movie” gleefully parodies every mass-media iteration of its hero, from the serials to “Super Friends” and from Adam West to Ben Affleck. While hard-core devotees will enjoy an overflowing basket of Easter eggs, you don’t have to be a super-fan to enjoy its crafty mix of outlandish verbal humor and outrageous visuals.

See Video: New ‘Lego Batman Movie’ Trailer Mocks ‘Batman v Superman’

(Even the sound design is funny, from the occasional clickety-clack of plastic feet running on plastic surfaces to the actors who say “pew, pew pew!” out loud while their characters are firing guns.)

Returning from “The Lego Movie” is Will Arnett as an arrogant Batman who covers up his loneliness and longing for his parents with a never-ending stream of boasts. (His staccato braggadocio will sound familiar to anyone covering the White House these days.) The film opens with Batman saving Gotham City for the umpteenth time from the evil machinations of the Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), who has gathered together all of the hero’s C-list villains, including Calendar Man, Gentleman Ghost, Egghead and Condiment King.

Also Read: ‘Lego Movie’ Sequel Lands ‘Trolls’ Director Mike Mitchell

The Joker is crestfallen to hear that Batman doesn’t think of him as his main nemesis, or even that they’re in a relationship at all. (Sometimes you just want to hear those three little words: “I hate you.”) With Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) taking over for her father Jim as commissioner — she graduated at the top of her class at “Harvard for Police” — the Joker turns himself and all of his cohorts in, partly to remove Batman’s reason for existence and partly as an elaborate ruse that involves the Phantom Zone and the many nefarious villains therein.

Batman is such a jerk that he’s willing to put his newly adopted son Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) into a Robin outfit just so the kid can face certain death when they break into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude (where the Justice League is having a swinging party to which Batman has not been invited). Once the Phantom Zone blows wide open — revealing villains from various intellectual properties that have been Lego-ized — can Batman and his surrogate family (including long-suffering butler Alfred, voiced by Ralph Fiennes) save the day?

Also Read: ‘Lego Movie Sequel’ Script to Get Rewrite From ‘BoJack Horseman’ Creator

That we actually care about how that question will be answered is a testament to the five screenwriters and to director Chris McKay, a “Robot Chicken” alum making his feature debut. “The Lego Batman Movie,” for the most part, very skillfully keeps the wackiness from overwhelming the plot and vice versa. And while the various Bat-vehicles take us through vertiginous zooms on land or through the air, McKay keeps the action rousing but never jumbled.

Movie superhero fans tend to be divided into camps, with Marvel people complaining about the dank glumness of the DC films, and DC partisans decrying the jokiness of Marvel movies. Committed to lunacy while paying homage to the varied legacy of Batman over the decades, “The Lego Batman Movie” might be the common ground that satisfies both camps.

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Full ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ voice cast reveals surprise cameos

This post contains spoilers about the LEGO Batman Movie

A superhero can only hide his or her identity for so long, and the same goes for the voices behind the upcoming The LEGO Batman Movie.

While the spin-off to 2014’s The LEGO Movie is a week away from hitting theaters, Warner Bros.’ final credits for the animated film reveal all of the talented voice cast behind the familiar comic faces turned LEGO.

Apart from the already known cast of Will Arnett as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Cera as Robin/Dick Grayson, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, Mariah Carey as the Mayor, and Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn, familiar characters to the Batman universe make an appearance as do crossovers from other hit franchises will rock the film’s world.

Forming a super group known as The Ubers, He Who Must Not Be Named himself will make an appearance, with Eddie Izzard bringing Voldemort to life through voice, while cinema’s iconic ape King Kong will swing in courtesy of Seth Green. Sauron, destroyer of all things good in Middle-Earth, will be voiced by Jemaine Clement, and rounding out the evil gang will be the unknown Phyllis, voiced by Ellie Kemper. It also seems Nerdist head and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick will make a cameo as a reporter.

Joining the rest of the familiar Batman crew are Jason Mantzoukas as Scarecrow, Conan O’Brien as The Riddler, Doug Benson as Bane, Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Kate Micucci as Clayface, and Riki Lindhome as Poison Ivy.

With such a heavy arsenal of villains to take on, thankfully Batman will have the Justice League by his side, including Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, and Adam Devine as The Flash.

Fans can see how all these characters and worlds smash together when The LEGO Batman Movie hits theaters Feb. 10.