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'Lego Movie' clicks with audiences

BY DERRIK J. LANG Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - "The Lego Movie" built a huge lead on top of the weekend's new releases at the box office.

In its second outing, the Warner Bros. animated film featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett earned $48.8 million to take first place, according to studio estimates Sunday. That brings the film based on the toy brick-building franchise's domestic box office total to $129.1 million, cementing it was one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

"It's crossing over to all audiences," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "It's not just a kids' movie. There's something for boys, girls and adults, as well. The likeability is astronomical. That across-the-board appeal is giving 'The Lego Movie' unstoppable momentum, even in a weekend loaded with new competitors."

"The Lego Movie" earned an additional $27.7 million from 42 international territories, including the United Kingdom, Holland, Sweden and Norway. The worldwide total box office for "Lego Movie" now stands at $180.3 million.

Sony's romantic comedy "About Last Night" starring Kevin Hart and Michael Ealy came in second place with $27 million. The strong showing further demonstrated Hart's clout as a box-office draw. The actor-comedian's other film, the buddy-cop comedy "Ride Along" with Ice Cube, nabbed $8.8 million in its fifth weekend to take the sixth spot at the box office.

"I don't think there's anyone funnier out there today than Kevin Hart," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. "He's at the top, and he couldn't be a nicer or more hardworking guy. He got out there and promoted 'About Last Night' really, really hard. The chemistry that he brings to the table is just infectious. You can't help but wanna take the ride with him."

The action-packed "RoboCop" reboot from Sony and MGM featuring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton captured third place with $21.5 million. The update to the original 1987 sci-fi film starring Peter Weller as a robotic officer performed better overseas, earning $35 million from 37 international markets, including France, Australia and Germany.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

1. "The Lego Movie," $48.8 million ($27.7 million international).

2. "About Last Night," $27 million.

3. "RoboCop," $21.5 million ($35 million international).

4. "The Monuments Men," $15 million ($8.9 million international).

5. "Endless Love," $13.4 million ($3.9 million international).

6. "Ride Along," $8.8 million.

7. "Winter's Tale," $7.8 million ($4 million international).

8. "Frozen," $5.9 million ($18.2 million international).

9. "Lone Survivor," $4 million ($750,000 international).

10. "That Awkward Moment," $3.3 million ($2.1 million international).

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