Why did The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part have such weak opening ticket sales?

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part missed its projected opening weekend box office by quite a stretch, and now the pundits are weighing in.

With The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part doing significantly less business than the 2014 original did in the USA, with similarly disappointing figures in the UK, film industry analysts are considering why the latest animated LEGO feature did not do the business. With disappointing ticket sales across the board so far this year, the film was expected to provide a box office boost.

“When there’s a lack of family fare for a long period of time, there’s suddenly a huge response from audiences when a quality animated film comes out,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian told the Wrap. “I thought that this would be the first weekend of 2019 that was up from a year ago and it just wasn’t, and now 2019 is going to fall even farther behind the pace of the past couple of years.”

With this film, the audience that did turn out was made up of a higher percentage of families and fewer adults without children. Variety reports that Warner Bros. insiders are hoping that this means when children are off school for President’s Day the film will get a boost.

The LEGO Movie 2 The Second Part movie stills 8

The Hollywood Reporter attributes a “less than inspired marketing campaign” as to part of the problem, with various outlets highlighting that there was little differentiation between the sequel and the original in the promotion.
Many reactions point to the The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO NINJAGO Movie both getting 2017 releases may have hurt the prospects of The LEGO Movie 2 thanks to oversaturation, but the picture may not be quite that simple. “Absence making the heart grow fonder is a rare situation,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock in Variety’s article. “It’s not the case for kids. They grow out of things quickly.”

This may be the end of $100 million LEGO movies and see Warner Bros. start targeting the films at more specific audiences. “I think they’re going to have to really figure out who they’re going to market these films to in the future and downsize them,” said Bock in the Wrap’s piece. “Maybe they do more superhero movie parodies or one more aimed to female audiences. We’re not going to see a sequel or spinoff like this film, which was done with the expectation there would be a four quadrant turnout that just didn’t come.”

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is in cinemas now.

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Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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