So Much for ‘RoboCop’ — ‘The LEGO Movie’ and ‘About Last Night’ Take Two Top Spots at Box Office

So Much for ‘RoboCop’ — ‘The LEGO Movie’ and ‘About Last Night’ Take Two Top Spots at Box Office
The Playlist

When your options are a tepidly received “RoboCop” remake and a Valentine’s Day-themed romance movie that only the teenage girl die-hards seemed interested in (“Endless Love”), is it any wonder “The Lego Movie” blocked out the competition this weekend? That said, performing quite well was the “About Last Night” remake. And no, don’t chalk that one up to ’80s nostalgia—instead, see it as one more film connecting with the underserved African-American audience who are happy to come out in droves when a movie is actually geared towards them.

Well what am I supposed to say to that. And what does that even mean? At first I saw the headline and I thought I was going to lament the fact that RoboCop was outdone by what looked like a terrible film. Then I read that first paragraph which I just quoted and I thought, “oh great, now how to I keep from coming off racist?” But then I thought about it a little more, and I rewatched the trailer to remember why I thought exactly that this film looks so bad, and now I think maybe The Playlist is racist. No really, watch this trailer again:

What exactly do they mean, “one more film connecting with the underserved African-American audience?” I guess they mean the characters are black or whatever, which I have absolutely no problem with, but goodness this film looks bad for completely unconnected reasons.

Taking the number one slot for the second week in a row, “The Lego Movie” took in a whopping $48 million, which is better than most movies do in their opening weekend these days. Not even the storms and the binge-friendly “House Of Cards” on Netflix could put a major dent in the box office.

Not surprising since it has generated almost entirely positive buzz.

The film’s “biggest” release publicity-wise was easily Sony’s “RoboCop” remake. However, taking in $21 million in the third slot is not what the studio imagined when they first green-lit the remake, and surely chances of a franchise are probably in the toilet now. It’s not a massive bomb by any means, but with a weak critical reception, a potential big drop in week two and a starring cast that aren’t exactly stars (Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish), it’s conceivable this one could vanish and barely top out at $100 million domestically (the price tag of its budget) before all is said and done.

I wouldn’t count RoboCop out just yet. The market is so much bigger than just the U.S. these days so we’ll have to see in a couple weeks. But it’s too bad it couldn’t have had a stronger opening weekend. I really really liked it a lot. I felt that it had a much better emotional core and connectivity than its predecessor, and a far better and more believable story. The issue, I think, is the nostalgia. Everyone says and thinks that the original is such a classic and masterpiece that it can’t be touched — which I find to be misguided having recently watched it for the first time with no real preconceptions about it.