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The Lego Batman Movie beats Fifty Shades Darker to US top spot

LEGO Batman

Story by Jack Foley

AS WIDELY anticipated The Lego Batman Movie has won the Valentine weekend race for top spot at the US box office with $55.6 million.

But the race was closer than expected, with Fifty Shades of Grey sequel Fifty Shades Darker landing $46.8 million.

That meant good news for the latter, which performed better than anticipated, and kind of bad news for Batman, which had been tracking somewhere between $60 million and $70 million.

However, both films fell behind the opening weekend figures of the films that came before them. The female-friendly Fifty Shades Darker came in 44% behind the record-breaking $85 million bow of Fifty Shades of Grey on the same weekend two years ago.

While Lego Batman paced 20% behind The Lego Movie, which opened to $69 million in early February 2014.

On the plus side for Batman, reviews have been positive and some of the weaker box office has been put down to the bad weather that hit the East Coast.

Overseas, Lego Batman opened to $37 million from 60 markets, including a UK haul of $9.3 million. The film’s global bow was $92.6 million, including $6 million from IMAX venues.

Fifty Shades did even better, seducing audiences with a $100.1 million debut from 57 markets for a global bow of $146.9 million.

The weekend’s third new entry, Keanu Reeves action vehicle John Wick: Chapter 2 also had a good weekend, taking $30 million – more than double the debut of John Wick in February 2014 ($14.4 million).

Directed by Chad Stahleski, John Wick 2 also stars Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane. It took in $10.6 million overseas for a global debut of $40.6 million.

Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz commented: “We knew the movie delivered to its core audience. The critical response helped the cause as well.”

Rounding out the US top five were M Night Shyamalan’s Split and historical drama Hidden Figures with $9.3 million and $8 million, respectively.

Split‘s domestic total is $112 million for a global haul of $169.4 million, while Hidden Figures has earned $131.5 million in the US alone, the most of any film vying in the Oscar best-picture race.

Also, Hidden Figures has stayed in the top five for six consecutive weekends.

Another best picture Oscar contender, Lionsgate’s La La Land has earned $126 million in the US and $294.3 million globally. It now sits at No. 8 at the US box office.

Next story: Matt Reeves to direct Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie