It's been a good few months for animation at the box-office, and that looks to continue as we move further into the second month of 2014. With Disney's mammoth hit musical Frozen still going strong, and Warner Bros.' The Lego Movie doing expectedly big business, mainstream American animation is doing immensely well right now.
Although new releases The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men meant that it dropped to fourth place in the US (still great considering this is its twelfth week of release), Frozen's mammoth box-office run continues around the world. It's now taken almost $913.8 million worldwide ($368.7m of that domestically) and with its having just opened in China, and with a Japanese release still to come (14th March), it seems extremely likely that it could become the second animated film to take over a billion dollars. It certainly seems poised to dethrone Despicable Me 2's $970 million as the highest grossing animation of 2013. It's currently the sixth-highest grossing animated film of all time.
The baton seems to be being passed, though, to WB's zany, frenetic - and almost universally loved - The Lego Movie; the third film from the duo of Chris Miller and Phil Lord took a whopping $69.1 million in its opening weekend - one of the highest ever for a non-sequel animated feature, says Box Office Mojo. Brand recognition, clever marketing and strong word of mouth all helped push the block-buster to first place at the North American box-office this weekend.
Also worth noting, The Lego Movie's opening haul equates to the second-highest opening ever for a February release (after only The Passion of the Christ). The film has also already made more than its $60 million production budget - little wonder Warner have already green-lit a sequel.
One thing's for sure, this is one hell of a return to animation - both critically and financially - for the studio that once ruled the roost with Looney Tunes shorts. Next on the agenda for Warner Bros. Animation, Storks, from former Pixarian Doug Sweetland (Presto), in 2015, and Smallfoot in 2016. We also assume that the Scooby-Doo film we heard about in August will fall under the WB Animation banner too. We'll be keeping a keen eye on these guys.
Check out A113Animation's review of The Lego Movie here. It opens in the UK this Friday, 14th February. Meanwhile, DreamWorks' Mr. Peabody & Sherman - which opened here a month earlier than its US release of 7th March - took the top spot at the UK box-office this weekend.