'The Lego Movie' builds big advance ticket sales

'The Lego Movie' builds big advance ticket sales
A scene from the Warner Bros. film "The Lego Movie," which will be released nationwide this weekend. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

"The Lego Movie" already is blocking out a big following -- even before it has hit theaters.

The computer-animated movie from Warner Bros., the first full-length feature film centered around the Lego toys, is on track to become Fandango's second-biggest advance ticket-seller among all animated films, behind Pixar's 2010 hit "Toy Story 3."

As of Thursday morning, Fandango's "Lego" sales are surpassing advance ticket sales for "Frozen," "Despicable Me 2" and "Monsters University" at the same point in the sales cycle. "The Lego Movie" represented 67% of the morning's ticket sales, according to a statement from Fandango, the online movie ticketing service based in Los Angeles.

"The Lego Movie" scored 92 out of 100 pionts for its opening weekend, ahead of George Clooney’s “Monuments Men,” which scored 79 out of 100 points, Fandango said.

Warner Bros. worked with Australian studio Animal Logic on the Lego film, which was written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the team behind Sony Pictures' "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." 

"The Lego Movie," which cost about $60 million to make, is expected to generate at least $50 million in ticket sales when it debuts nationwide Friday.

According to its survey of more than 1,000 "Lego Movie" ticket buyers, Fandango said 97% have played with Lego blocks at one time in their lives; 89% say the trailers and movie clips they have seen online influenced their decision to see the film; and 72% pointed to Lego Batman and the film's other pop culture characters as heightening their interest in the movie.