Lego Movie 2 opened this past weekend. After the success of the first film ($470 million worldwide). The second was projected to open domestically with, at the low end, $50 million. This did not happen. The foreign markets however, have held. This is what we will be talking about today.
Foreign markets are going to make a big impact left by the defecit of the underwhelming gross on the domestic ticket sales. While the movie’s production budget was almost twice as much as the first ($60 million vs $100 million for The Lego Movie and Lego Movie 2, respectively). The opening domestic gross was about half; Lego grossed around $69 million and Lego 2 did just shy of $35. But, on a good note, not only did the foreign market hold grossing $18.5 million for Lego 2, and $18.7 for Lego. If Lego doesn’t have significant competition in the foreign market, it can start to make up the difference. But domestically, Lego 2 has an uphill climb, as it had no real competition domestically for its key demographic.
The foreign markets, in the past have been under utilized. From lack of distribution, to certain genres not playing or translating well there. Now that the theaters have been built up more, we are seeing how films like The Lego Movie are benefiting. Foreign markets played a large role in the success of the first, grossing $211 million of its worldwide theatrical take. The second is no less important, in fact it may end up playing a larger role in keeping the movie profitable.
Due to the fact that the foreign market is showing to stay consistant, it may end up pulling in more than it does domestically. This is significant in the move to get producers and executives to not underestimate or dissmiss the foreign market. In fact, if this trend continues, we may see a swing towards films that are made for foreign audiences in mind. Lego movie has not opened in China, and that has become a large powerhouse of income. It pushed movies like Aquaman to be the highest worldwide grossing DC movie (even above The Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises), but didn’t gross what they did domestically.
So, the next couple of weekends will be crucial to see what happens and how the domestic gross affects the rollout of the movie in subsequent foreign markets. I believe the producers should start campaigning more to shore up those international proceeds. Otherwise it may be effected as well, and cause the film as a whole to be almost completely unsuccessful financially.