Lego Ninjago dethrones ailing Blade Runner 2049 at the UK box office

Ben Arnold

The ‘Lego Ninjago Movie’ has managed to top ‘Blade Runner 2049’ at the UK box office, taking the top spot that the long-awaited sequel managed to hold for just a week.

Despite making less than half of the previous Lego movies, ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘Lego Batman’, and mostly bad reviews, it’s still managed to beat director Denis Villeneuve’s critically lauded movie.

‘Ninjago’ opened to £3.46 million, compared to ‘Blade Runner 2049’s £3.1 million, which signifies a 41% drop since its opening weekend last week.

All that said, it’s made £12.2 million over its 11 days on release, which means its actually over-performing expectations from the UK market, according to figures from Screen Daily.

But the new ‘Blade Runner’ story is still running into trouble in the US, where it was knocked off the top of the box office chart by new horror movie ‘Happy Death Day’.

Thus far, despite considerable hype, dazzlingly good reviews, the cult popularity of the original movie and stars like Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto attached, it’s made $158 million worldwide.

That’s far behind what box office analysts had predicted might be in store for Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Alcon Entertainment, the studios behind its making and distribution.

A variety of factors have been offered up for its drab performance, from its long run time (almost three hours), its distance from the original movie (a solid 35 years), its failure to get women through the door, and a failure to attract the under 25s who may not have seen, nor perhaps care about, the original movie.

The movie cost $150 million to make, and though it’s made those production costs back, often the same amount again can be spent on marketing and advertising the movie, making it a long way to go before hitting profit.

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