Lighter Batman Spoils Darker Debut (at Least in North America)

Everything snapped into place for The LEGO Batman Movie. The animated click—er, flick built itself an estimated $55.6 million take (presumably out of tile-shaped 100-dollar bills and tiny gold coins) to top the North American box office this weekend. And while Batman didn’t earn quite as much out of the gate as 2014’s The LEGO Movie (which collected $69.1 million its opening weekend), LEGO Batman is still on track to become a bona fide (ahem) block buster.

The success of Batman and his excitable caped cohort, Robin, spoiled the debut for another couple of characters who like masks. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s Fifty Shades Darker pocketed about $46.8 million en route to a second-place finish. Not only did Darker finish nearly $9 million behind LEGO Batman, it lagged way behind its predecessor, Fifty Shades of Grey, which collected $85.2 million in its tawdry 2015 opening weekend. Seems darker isn’t always greener.

‘Course when you lump in those North America totals with money earned overseas, the results flip. Fifty Shades Darker has already crossed the $100 million mark worldwide, pocketing $100.1 million in 57 markets—the fourth-largest international opening for an R-rated flick ever, according to Box Office Mojo. LEGO Batman did just fine, but its $92.6 million wasn’t quite enough to knock off Darker.

Still another newcomer, John Wick: Chapter Two finished third with $30 million. Split, which had been No. 1 for three straight weeks, took a torturous tumble down to fourth with $9.3 million. Oscar hopeful Hidden Figures closed out the Top Five with $8 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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