– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We were all very excited for years worth of LEGO movies as soon as that first movie came out. Against all odds, it defied expectation, proving that annoying cash grabs could actually bring great storytelling to the table. And no one was more excited than Warner Bros., who was quick to jump on the bandwagon by announcing not one, but THREE LEGO movies.

Honestly, we should have known the franchise was in trouble when The LEGO Batman Movie came out to great critical acclaim and middling box office success, but The LEGO Ninjago movie was already raring to go not long after. That film didn’t do as well with critics and similarly fumbled at the box office. Perhaps the solution was that they should stick to mainline entries.

Whelp, that doesn’t seem to have done them any good, as The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part has just released to a disappointing $34.1 million opening — less than half of the original’s $69.1 million opening. Given how well this movie did with critics, the studio was hoping to get a solid opening at around $50 to $55 million, but clearly that didn’t work. So what was the problem? Well, it’s fairly obvious.

RELATED – Did The LEGO Movie 2 Just Tease Multiple Batman Films?

“I certainly think franchise fatigue is a major factor in the massive property devaluation of this WB franchise,” Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations told THR. “Audiences probably could have done without Ninjago. And the truth of the matter is, five years is a long time. The Second Part seemed like a retread from the get-go, resting on the laurels of the original.”

But that wasn’t the only problem. As stated above, they were facing diminishing returns in this franchise from the get-go, and they didn’t seem to take that into account with their marketing.

“The marketing just seemed to be on autopilot,” Bock said. “Look, I know Warner Bros. didn’t feel like they had to sell the sequel, but the declining grosses for Lego Batman and Lego Ninjago should have been a huge red flag. Reconnecting with their core audience obviously didn’t happen. The more and more I look at this series, the original was likely an event because of the novelty. You just can’t cuddle a Lego.”

Was there any reason you likely didn’t check out the film this past weekend? Let us know down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.