Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie will, undoubtedly, take this weekend over newcomers Pompeii from Sony Pictures and the Kevin Costner actioner 3 Days To Kill from Relativity Media. But the interesting thing is that we have four pictures this weekend vying for the No. 2 spot and three of them are from one studio. Sony not only has Pompeii, a love story set against the backdrop of an angry Vesuvius, which one former distribution executive (Jim Amos) calls Cloudy With A Chance Of Lava, but also the holdover MGM title RoboCop and the Kevin Hart-starring comedy About Last Night. This is a testosterone-pumped weekend as not only are the newcomers — 3 Days To Kill and Pompeii — both skewing to various ages up and down the male demo but so is RoboCop. All four pictures at this point in the game are looking to make anywhere from $10M to low teens. Fandango is showing that 42% of ticket sales belong to Lego. (FYI: Pompeii was fully financed by Constantin Films with FilmDistrict providing the marketing and distribution funds).
Also, with this being the last weekend before the Academy Awards, expect all Oscar-nominated films to see solid numbers as, traditionally, moviegoers venture out to see them before the show. Last year’s Oscars brought in 40.3M viewers. Duly impressed with Philomena‘s performance week to week as the film has been distributed so tactfully. I’ve watched The Weinstein Company’s distrib head Erik Lomis adding and shedding theaters to consistently keep the percentage drops low and ranking as the best hold of all the Oscar-nominated films still in release. It has garnered $31M going into the weekend and about $80M worldwide.