Image: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.’ box office hopes for the long-awaited sequel to The Lego Movie crumbled like so many poorly assembled plastic blocks this weekend, as The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part debuted with $34.4 million—or roughly 20 million dollars below what the studio was expecting. It’s hard to Lego of expectations.

Whether it was the result of waiting five years in between installments, cooling interest by watering down the franchise with spinoff movies like Lego Batman (good!) and Lego Ninjago (bad!), or simply the fact that what felt fresh and new back then just doesn’t any more, the second round of the adventures of Emmet, Lucy, and associates didn’t pan out as hoped, with diminished returns domestically and internationally. If a third movie is greenlit, expect a budget that could fit atop a much smaller Lego play table.

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This weekend’s other new releases delivered more or less what was forecast, give or take the amount of money that would nonetheless change any of our lives forever. The distaff gender swap of What Women Want came in at $19 million, right in the middle of predictions, though the lukewarm critical reception and brutal 3.6/10 IMDB rating suggests the film won’t have very long legs—dismaying the stereotypically shallow attitudes of many of the men populating the film. And Liam Neeson’s latest revenge potboiler Cold Pursuit may have a stupidly great title, but it’s anyone’s guess the degree to which his comments about how he used to be racist may have impacted the box office: The movie earned $10.8 million, which is actually slightly above the (admittedly revised in the face of his comments) estimates, and is the lowest opening-weekend gross for one of his “Liam Neeson kicks ass” films.

The other wide release, evil-kid horror flick The Prodigy, landed in sixth place with $6 million, another slightly underperforming debut that reminds everyone no one really likes child prodigies except their parents. Defying good taste and all logic, The Upside continues to make money, coming in fourth place with $7.2 million, while Glass takes the last spot in the top five with $5.8 million, meaning both films are now within spitting distance of $100 million. In heartening news, the Oscar-nominated short films were given the widest release they’ve ever had—265 theaters—and made nearly a million dollars.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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