Say “DC Comics” and most fans will think Batman. Sure, Superman may be THE superhero for many, and a DC character to boot, but the fact remains that Batman has been the company’s driving force for a very long time. This also means that its usual styling gets to bleed into the larger DC universe in comic and visual media form, grim, dark and foreboding. Just look at “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. Fortunately some resistance and mild backlash over the constant shadow of the Bat has been happening in DC-Warner’s movies.

The recently-released “lego batman Movie” was proof that this return to “lighter and softer” has a strong following with its box-office earnings edging out another eagerly anticipated sequel, this one to “Fifty Shades of Gray.”

Dominating the ‘Dom-film’

“The Lego Batman Movie” has landed in the number one spot coming into February Valentines week with a $55.6 million take that is just slightly better than “Fifty Shades Darker”, which has made $46.8 million as of Sunday February 12. Not bad for a spin-off based on a licensed superhero’s minor role in “The Lego Movie” of 2014. Then again, reviews have been good and being the only purely family film in theaters right now has helped with the droves of children (and young-at-heart) in the audience; 48% percent were under the age of 25.

In fact, estimates have it that the box-office should have come out more than what was listed, likely affected by a run of weather conditions along the East Coast.

The sequel puts front and center the Batman Lego figure from the first Lego film, voiced by Will Arnett. In his “solo” adventure Batman must thwart the diabolical designs of clown criminal mastermind the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), who is so incensed by the Lego Dark Knight not considering him a true nemesis that he has hatched a new plot that could destroy Gotham City.

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At the same time he must both look after his adopted orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and reluctantly train him as a new sidekick, Robin. WB Distribution Chief Jeff Goldstein has noted the weather factor, but is pleased with the strong box-office performance of the “Lego Batman” spinoff all the same.

Other films at the top

Coming up second place on the list to is “Fifty Shades Darker”, which reunites Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as the BDSM fiction “power couple” of Anastasia Steele and Christian Gray, for more sexy kinkiness as can been portrayed while maintaining an R rating.

At the third spot is new blockbuster entry (and yet another sequel) “John Wick: Chapter 2” with former “Matrix” costars Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne. Review aggregates are high for both this and “Lego Batman”, with “Fifty Shades” at a low. With things, things are sure to be good for the next Lego sequel, "Lego Ninjago", while the next solo "Batman" film (after "wonder Woman" and "Justice League") is having directing worries.