9 February 2014 12:51 PM, PST | Box Office Mojo | See recent BoxOfficeMojo.com news »

Thanks to its strong brand and broadly-appealing marketing, The Lego Movie stacked up one of the highest openings ever for an original animated movie this weekend. The Monuments Men also had a solid debut, while Vampire Academy was the latest young-adult debacle.The Lego Movie took first place with $69.05 million, which ranks second all-time in the month of February behind The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million). That fantastic debut is among the best-ever for an "original" (i.e. not a sequel or prequel) animated movie ever along with Up ($68.1 million), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax ($70.2 million) and The Incredibles ($70.5 million). For reference, the current record-holder is The Simpsons Movie with $74 million.The Lego Movie's success can be attributed to a handful of factors. The brand itself is remarkably strong: most people have some experience with the tiny building blocks, and that experience is generally positive. Warner Bros. built on »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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