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‘Lego Movie’ lead builds, No. 1 for third weekend

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — LOS ANGELES – Action-packed new releases couldn’t stack up to 3D hit “The Lego Movie,” which took the No. 1 slot in its third weekend at the box office.

The Warner Bros. animated film bested Relativity Media’s “3 Days to Kill” and Sony’s “Pompeii” on their opening weekends.

“The Lego Movie,” featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman, earned $31.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The domestic total has passed $183 million.

Heading into full-fledged franchise territory with a sequel set to release in May 2017, “The Lego Movie” is the highest-grossing film of 2014.

Relativity Media’s crime drama “3 Days to Kill,” starring Kevin Costner and Amber Heard, came in second with $12.3 million.

“Pompeii,” Sony’s boiling gladiator drama, starring “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington, took the third-place slot with $10 million.

” ‘Pompeii’ got savaged by critics,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. ” ’3 Days to Kill’ wasn’t loved by critics either, so you had two films that didn’t have a shot at taking ‘Lego’ out. But these movies did about what we would expect.”

In its second weekend, the Sony and MGM reboot “RoboCop” dropped from third to fourth with $9.4 million. Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton, the modernized sci-fi film (the 1987 original starred Peter Weller as a cop who gains a new robotic body) is down 57 percent from last weekend’s domestic opener.

Sony’s George Clooney-directed “The Monuments Men” was pushed down to fifth place from last week’s fourth-place spot with $8.1 million.

Still, Sony dominated the multiplex with four films in the top 10. “About Last Night,” starring Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall, gained $7.4 million in its second weekend after a strong Valentine’s Day opening.

Kevin Hart’s “Ride Along,” also starring Ice Cube, marks another hit for the comedian as it remains in the top 10 for the sixth weekend in a row. Because of its vast success, the studio has secured “Ride Along 2.” Tim Story will be back to direct, while Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi will return to pen the sequel.

Disney’s “Frozen,” locked in at No. 8, refuses to thaw with $4.4 million over the weekend. It’s the third-highest grossing domestic animated release of all-time.

Rounding out the top 10, Universal’s “Endless Love,” starring Alex Pettyfer as the romantic lead opposite Gabriella Wilde, brought in $4.3 million, while the Colin Farrell-starring drama “Winter’s Tale” gained $2.1 million.

Next weekend, Liam Neeson’s “Non-Stop” hits theaters. Lupita Nyong’o, nominated for a best supporting Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” also appears in the film.

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