Keanu Reeves, a bunch of lego, and some tasty S&M... mercifully, I'm not talking about one movie here, but three. Yup, this weekend's box office was a three-horse race in which there was one winner but no losers, as three major movies with very different audiences all managed an excellent opening weekend in the US.
First up was #LegoBatman, the sequel to The Lego Movie. Unlike Batman v Superman, this Batventure has received a whole spectrum of rave reviews, and the jokes seem just as tailored for adults as for kids, which is probably why it made a fairly hefty $55.6 million over the three-day weekend.
The reliably brilliant Will Arnett (Arrested Development, A Series Of Unfortunate Events) voices this sarcastic take on the Dark Knight, which also made $12m internationally (finishing in second place behind Fifty Shades Darker almost everywhere), giving Lego Batman flight with a global start of $68m.
At second place in the US, but in pole position pretty much everywhere else (including Germany, UK, France, Australia, Brazil and many more), #FiftyShadesDarker made a very handsome $46.8m stateside. Although Grey had a bigger opening in 2015, fever around E.L. James's books was much higher back then, and Valentine's Day also fell on a Saturday.
This year, Valentine's is Tuesday, when Darker should get a massive boost from all those women dragging (read: blackmailing?) their other halves into watching Ana and Christian feast on each other in a variety of ridiculous public places.
Critics are harsh on this movie, obviously, but our reviewer found it a strong upgrade on Grey which actually delivers on that long-promised "kinky f-ckery" — and, let's face it, that's what we're all here for. Internationally, Darker is projected to make a huge $105m across the weekend for a global start of approximately $152m. And considering the modest $55m budget, Universal will be popping the Dom Pérignon already.
In third place, but arguably the weekend's biggest success story, is John Wick: Chapter 2. The first film was quite eccentric by low-budget action movie standards, but #JohnWick2 puts a bullet through the idea of "less is more" by going harder on the action, bigger on the budget and crazier on the story to create a sequel which not only improves on what came first, but also demands a third movie (it's coming).
In the US, Chapter 2 brought in a brilliant $30m for the three-day weekend (the first film managed $14.5m). Internationally it added a strong $10.6m ahead of opening in various major markets including Germany and the UK this coming weekend.
Further down the top 10, Lion finished in ninth with another $4.1m for a global total of $44.5m to date on the same weekend that Dev Patel took home the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor in London. Will he do the double at the #Oscars this month?
Also this weekend, La La Land made another $5m for a running total of $294m, Hidden Figures added $8m (global total $140m), and M. Night Shyamalan's Split powered on with another $9.3m. Globally it now has a brilliant $169m.
Next weekend, expect a fight between this weekend's top three, the quirky horror flick A Cure For Wellness and Matt Damon's The Great Wall.
What did you go and see, and which movie will be at No. 1 next weekend?