I was a bit surprised to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle was successful at dethroning It from the top of the box-office heap this past weekend. Audiences were clearly ready for the highly-stylized, tongue-in-cheek violence Kingsman’s campaign promised. At least enough of the audience had already seen It and were ready for something new.
Less attractive was the value proposition offered in the marketing of The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which wrapped a pretty standard story of father/son dynamics in the humor the LEGO franchise has already become well known for. While some commentators are looking at this and seeing a weakening of the franchise just three movies in, my take is the Ninjago brand just doesn’t have the same widespread resonance of Batman, which hurt its chances. The appeal was almost *solely* among fans of that toy line, not the general public drawn in by the promise of a fun, fresh take on a long-running character.
American Assassin looks poised to at least make its production budget back, not quite the hit that The Hitman’s Bodyguard was but still not bad for a middle-of-the-road traditional spy action drama. Rounding out the weekend’s top five is mother!, which dropped 56% from its already-disappointing first-weekend gross. Apparently, even a new campaign that used the controversy around the movie as a selling point, encouraging people to see what everyone was talking about, wasn’t enough to generate interest.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.