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Comparing the performance of LEGO movies

LEGO fan and Reddit member us3rn9m3 put together a very interesting chart, comparing the performance of the three LEGO movies released so far; The LEGO Movie from 2014, The LEGO Batman Movie, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie (both from this year). The chart compares the worldwide weekend earnings of the three movies for the first eight weeks in theatres, pulling data from BoxOfficeMojo.com. The chart also includes the production budget for the three movies. See below…

We all know that The LEGO Movie did excellent. The film had fantastic ratings on movie review sites both by critics and the general public. It was fresh, nostalgic, visually appealing, touching and funny. Both young and old LEGO fans could relate to the story and characters. Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman, Benny, Unikitty, Vitruvius, Lord Business all became household names with their own fanbase, and even words like Kragle has become mainstream. In addition, LEGO released a series of imaginative sets, including Cloud Cuckoo Palace (#70803), Lord Business’ Evil Lair (#70809), MetalBeard’s Sea Cow (#70810), Emmet’s Construc-o-Mech (#70814), Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! (#70816), and the Double-Decker Couch (#70818). Everything about this movie was awesome!

The success of The LEGO Movie prompted the creation of more films based on LEGO characters. After some delays and changes, in 2017 we ended up getting two films; The LEGO Batman Movie in February, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie in September. As you can see from the chart, The LEGO Batman Movie also attracted a good number of viewers, and the ratings were still very good. The film particularly appealed to Batman fans, who could appreciate all the jokes and references from the long history of the Batman franchise. The LEGO sets related to the movie include every imaginable version of Batman, his friends, foes, and awesome vehicles – all for the great satisfaction of Batman collectors. Some of the most notable sets are The Joker’s Lowrider (#70906), The Batcave (#70909), Arkham Asylum (#70912), The Ultimate Batmobile (#70917), and the soon-to-be-released Joker’s Manor (#70922). And there are more sets scheduled for next year.

Compared to the first two films, The Ninjago Movie faired quite poorly, as you can see from the chart. Ninjago fans who have been following the TV show weren’t happy because their favorite characters were changed, and LEGO fans who weren’t into Ninjago couldn’t relate to the film either. This is reflected in the mixed reviews both by critics and by moviegoers. Once people see the poor reviews, it is unlikely they will shell out money for the high prices of movie tickets (although they may still watch the film later once released on DVD). On the other hand, The LEGO Ninjago movie sets are fantastic, and even people who are not into the movie or Ninjago at all, are raving about them. The incredibly detailed Ninjago City set (#70620), the beautiful Destiny’s Bounty ship (#70618), and the very creative robots and mechs have been getting great amount of praise. And more sets are coming soon, including Garmadon’s Shark Mech!

Why the three films performed the way they did could be analyzed in many ways, but the trend is worrisome and doesn’t bode well for future LEGO-based theatrical releases. Still, there are already a couple of movies scheduled for 2019, including The LEGO Movie Sequel.

Personally, I have seen all three LEGO films, and my favorite is definitely The LEGO Movie. I really wanted to like The LEGO Ninjago Movie, as I love the TV show, but there were just too many changes and the story was too disjointed. I absolutely love The LEGO Ninjago Movie sets though. I’m not so much of a Batman fan, so I couldn’t connect deeply with the story, but it was an enjoyable film overall (you can find detailed reviews of the films at the end of this post).

What do you think? Have you seen all three LEGO movies so far? Which one is your favorite? And what do you think of the dropping performance of LEGO-based films? If you haven’t seen the movies, why not? What do you think of the future of LEGO films? And how do you like the related LEGO sets? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Håkan November 22, 2017, 10:16 AM

    It appears the Ninjago movie performed at a loss, but it’s been noted that with television licenses, DVD sales etc, very few movies actually do in the long run…

    • admin November 22, 2017, 5:37 PM

      That’s true, however I also read that unless a movie doubles its initial cost, it doesn’t really make any profit either. But yeah, with the inclusion of DVD sales and such, they will likely at least break even. That’ not too exciting though. Companies usually want to make a profit, not just break even.

      • Håkan November 22, 2017, 5:58 PM

        Well, true…

        Let’s see if the TLM sequel would add something that’d make the concept feel fresh again…

        • admin November 22, 2017, 6:02 PM

          Yeah, I was also looking forward to that movie, but now I’m a bit concerned. I don’t like this whole idea of sequels to every single movie. Unless it was planned like that from the very beginning, most sequels just water down the awesomeness of the original. Some great movies should be just left alone…

          • Håkan November 22, 2017, 6:22 PM

            Yeah, there’s a risk involved… It can often feel like an easy cash-in without much heart from the involved…

  • brickmaster November 22, 2017, 11:23 AM

    They have been releasing way too many movies. Two a year from any franchise is way too much. Even Star Wars doesn’t do that, and they are much bigger than Lego. And they should have left Ninjago out of this. They made Ninjago fans angry, and the general public just doesn’t care about Ninjago.

    • admin November 22, 2017, 5:35 PM

      Good point about having too many movies in a year and comparing it to Star Wars.

  • Laurie November 22, 2017, 12:24 PM


  • Hayato November 22, 2017, 2:59 PM

    The timing of the Ninjago movie was just wrong. It doesn’t have any sentimental value to older lego fans like the lego movie and the Batman movie. Twenty years from now, when Ninjago fans grow up, that’s when it should have been released.

    • admin November 22, 2017, 5:34 PM

      Yes, this is my feeling as well.

  • Hobbes November 22, 2017, 3:01 PM

    If Lego wants to monetize even more the Lego Ninjago Movie, all they have to do is release UCS sets. Imagine a UCS green dragon mech exactly (and I mean EXACTLY!) like in the movie! Just release on per year and you have a nice revenue stream on something that would be very collectable. I am actually astonished that they have not thought about that yet (hence doing it already) and I somehow hope that they read this – or someone forward it to them – and get the hint. Personally: Lego Movie(best), a tie for the other two. Ninjago would have won if the transition (from evil to good) of Garmadon would have been better handled – it was too fast and happened just as if he suddenly changed his mind.

    • Håkan November 22, 2017, 4:39 PM

      Is there really such a big market for UCS Ninjago sets? I find it hard to believe.

    • admin November 22, 2017, 5:34 PM

      Ninjago fans are still young, and they don’t have pocket money for UCS Ninjago sets. I agree though, that when they are going to be in their 30s and 40s, there will likely have a lot of nostalgia towards Ninjago, and at that time they will also have the money to buy large sets for themselves. So, maybe we will see some UCS Ninjago sets in a couple of decades. 🙂

      • Håkan November 22, 2017, 5:55 PM

        Although Lego hasn’t released ‘that’ many big nostalgic sets for the last ten years, except for Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, Spaceship! Kids are still a much bigger market than nostalgic middle-agers…

        • admin November 22, 2017, 6:01 PM

          Oh, yes, of course they did! All the Star Wars UCS sets are nostalgia sets! So are most of the large Super Heroes sets, as well as Ghostbusters and many more. Basically anything that’s in the $200+ plus range is not for kids. 😀

          • Håkan November 22, 2017, 6:24 PM

            I thought about that, but they’re just bought licenses. There’s few direct references to their own themes and history…

            • admin November 22, 2017, 7:50 PM

              Oh, I see what you mean. Well, there is Benny’s Spaecship, the Exo-Suit, the resurrected BIONICLE theme, references to Exo-Force, Fabuland, Blacktron, and more. The re-release of classic minifigs, etc. And also some large sets like the Assembly Square is a reference to the first three Modulars. I’m sure there are many others, but it’s late and I’m tired. We do need a new Yellow Castle though! 😀

              • Håkan November 23, 2017, 9:07 PM

                All of the gray and black castles were just juniorized panel building… Lego really went downhill after 1979…


                • admin November 23, 2017, 10:53 PM

                  Hm… interesting. A lot of people have nostalgia towards those old gray and black castles. Are you saying they weren’t that good?

                  • Håkan November 23, 2017, 11:14 PM

                    Nah, it was sorta ironic. I’m rather nostalgic towards them, myself. And those panel parts ‘are’ pretty practical in order to get a sizable build up rather quickly.

                    It was more a take on “juniorization”, and that it actually had gone on for quite a while…

  • Legostuff71 November 22, 2017, 5:24 PM

    The LEGO movie was based on pure imagination . It compared both adult and a child’s perspective. As well as putting in the various creations through the years of Lego. The Batman and the NINJAGO movies was based on a story of a story that has already been made. The LEGO movie is by far the best of the three movies .

  • legoed19 November 23, 2017, 4:30 AM

    Here’s what I don’t understand about the Lego Movie. The message was… Don’t just follow the instructions, use your imagination and build what your want, right? But then they just released sets with instructions. I don’t know why they didn’t do a mixed box of pieces (with the Lego Movie minifigures). I love the classic mixed boxes but the pieces are always too similar. That Minecraft crafting box is a great idea but I’m not a Minecraft fan. I would like to see mixed brick boxes with themes eg. pirates building box, space building box, western building box, etc. A few instructions and ideas is fine but they should also encourage you to build for yourself. The Lego Movie seemed like the ideal launchpad for that. Lego should employ me to come up with these great ideas!

    • admin November 23, 2017, 9:25 AM

      I think LEGO just heard you, because they are in fact releasing themed boxes just as you mentioned next year. 😉

      • legoed19 November 23, 2017, 10:12 AM

        Great. I’ll patiently await my 15% commission. 😉

        • admin November 23, 2017, 10:37 AM

          LOL!!! 😀

          • Håkan November 23, 2017, 8:20 PM

            “Building Bigger Thinking”

            I’ll wait and see for the price. At least they seem to have some interesting parts… Hopefully some re-introduced teal / turquoise / bluish green, as well…

            • admin November 23, 2017, 10:51 PM

              I have seen teal in some other sets as well, so I’m certain it is coming back, and also that the Modular is the already leaked but not yet confirmed Diner. 🙄

              • Håkan November 23, 2017, 11:14 PM

                I can’t spot any in the BBT sets, though… Alas…

                • admin November 23, 2017, 11:59 PM

                  There is at least one Disney set with some teal. 😉

                  • Håkan November 24, 2017, 6:53 AM

                    I hope for more basic bricks, a good assortment of bricks, plates, tiles and slopes… But Lego is better now at using their available colors to their disposals than during the age of crisis.

                    • admin November 24, 2017, 11:13 AM

                      The Age of Crisis… I like that. 😀

  • Laurie November 24, 2017, 9:18 AM

    Sadly the eBay seller selling the brick bank was a fake, gave a fake tracking number. So sad on the pluses side I did get a swift refund. Rather get the brick bank Lego set than a refund. Sigh will have to be on look out for sales on that set. On the pluses side the Lego Cinema was on sale. Bet the Ninja turtles would be chillin at the theater along with Robin and Batman, and the Ninjago Team would be at the snack bar getting snacks for the show, However the Joker and his band of trouble makers would be up to no good, Robbing the place, Defacing the property with Graffiti and be getting a sneak peak at the latest movie, until they realize the Heroes just happen to be all at the Cinema at the same time. What a Troublesome Mash up.. well if anyone knows a great deal for the Lego brick bank in Canada let me know… it would be cheaper to buy the set instead of trying to heather certain random parts from sellers. Do not get me wrong they are All Awesome however the shipping adds up. I’m in Canada so you can tell sometimes shipping aint cheap. Were we suppose to get double points today ?

    • admin November 24, 2017, 11:17 AM

      Laurie, wow! Looks like you dodged a bullet there with that fake seller! That’s a shame! At least you got your money back. Double VIP Points was last weekend. It’s not offered this weekend, however many of the sets are on sale. This is a good time to redeem VIP Points. If you have any VIP Points, you could use them for the Brick Bank. Otherwise, I don’t really know any sales going on for the set in Canada, but I will keep an eye on it. 🙂

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