• Jill Wilfert reflects on the success of the original
    Lego Movie
    franchise despite declining box office numbers.
  • Wilfert also opens up about why the franchise came to an end and the company sold the rights to Universal.
  • The decision to sell the franchise rights to Universal led to several projects being scrapped, including
    The Billion Brick Race
    Lego Superfriends
    , a sequel to the



While a new iteration lingers in development at a different studio, executive Jill Wilfert opens up about why the original Lego Movie franchise. The iconic toy brand made its way to the screen with the eponymous 2014 movie from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, which became an unprecedented success, grossing over $468 million and netting an extremely positive 96% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. After releasing three subsequent movies, Lego elected to sell the rights to the property to Universal in a five-year deal.

During a recent career-spanning interview with Variety, Jill Wilfert reflected on her experience with making the original Lego Movie franchise. When asked about the hiatus before the franchise’s rights were sold off, the Lego head of global entertainment admitted that the studio raced ahead with too many movies, resulting in the dwindling box office figures, though pointed out that the movies continued to score positive reviews during its run. Check out what Wilfert shared below:

In hindsight, we would probably say we had too many films too close together. All those movies did get good reviews. If you even look back to “Lego 2”, the reviews were better than the box office might indicate. I think people that did see it really did enjoy it. But really, in the film industry, it’s tough. I think you have to bring something unexpected to the table. And for us, going through that timeframe we felt like it was the right time to maybe take a little bit of a pause, re-evaluate what we’re doing.

In addition to the films, we also have been very active in the serialized content space, so we continue to create content tied to these properties. So we really, at that point, focused on continuing to fuel our franchises with animation and then go into a new space with more reality-style television with “Lego Masters”, which has been hugely successful for us.

Every Project Scrapped After The Lego Movie Franchise’s Ending

To Wilfert’s point, the Lego Movie franchise did largely enjoy success through its four-movie run. Much like the 2014 movie that started it, 2017’s Lego Batman Movie was a massive hit with critics and brought in a strong box office haul, while the final installment, 2019’s Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, came relatively close to these reviews, even if taking somewhat of a dip at the box office in comparison to its predecessors. Check out how the franchise’s critical scores and box office figures compare below:


RT Critics Score

Worldwide Box Office

The Lego Movie


$468.2 million

The Lego Batman Movie


$312.1 million

The Lego Ninjago Movie


$123.1 million

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part


$199.6 million

Though the company may have been looking to step back and re-evaluate their plans, the decision to shift the rights to another studio ultimately left a lot of planned projects shelved. The first was an in-universe spinoff entitled The Billion Brick Race, which was set to be written and directed by The Book of Life‘s Jorge R. Gutierrez. Described as being inspired by a variety of racing movies, namely the 1981 action comedy The Cannonball Run, the project endured a lengthy development cycle, with Gutierrez exiting the movie in 2018.


The LEGO Movie 3: Confirmation, Studio Change, & Everything We Know

A new LEGO Movie is coming from Universal, but this means big changes in the characters, cast, and story for the franchise.

The second major Lego Movie franchise title left on the table after its ending was Lego Superfriends, a sequel to the franchise’s Batman spinoff. Penned by Rick and Morty‘s Michael Waldron and Dan Harmon, the movie would’ve focused on Batman’s relationship with the Justice League and face Lex Luthor and OMAC. Given WB owns the rights to everything DC, it seems unlikely of the two, this one will ever see the light of day, but with The Lost City duo Aaron and Adam Nee at the helm for the next Lego Movie, something entertaining is sure to be around the corner.

The original Lego Movie and Batman Movie are available to stream on Max.

Source: Variety

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