Box office: LEGO Batman scales The Great Wall for top spot

Warner Bros. Pictures

The LEGO Batman Movie keeps its adversaries at bay for the second weekend in a row as it adds an estimated $34.2 million to its $98.8 million North American total over the first three days of the holiday weekend.

The third film to be released under the Warner Bros. Animation umbrella, LEGO Batman repeats at the top of the domestic chart over Fifty Shades Darker, which holds steady at No. 2 with an estimated $21 million. Both films’ totals will increase tomorrow when final President’s Day estimates roll in.

Though it has yet to land at the top spot in the U.S. and Canada, Fifty Shades Darker sits pretty at the peak position on the worldwide chart for the second week in a row. The romantic sequel, adapted from E.L. James’ popular book series, commands a further $43.7 million from 59 markets for a combined global total of $276.9 million on a $55 million budget.

Matt Damon’s The Great Wall, a historical monster movie made by Zhang Yimou, one of the most respected Chinese directors working today, premieres to an estimated $18.1 million over its first three days at 3,326 sites — a decent start considering a potentially disastrous wave of controversy swirling around the film’s casting. The film marks Damon’s lowest-grossing wide opener since We Bought a Zoo kicked off with $9.4 million in 2011.

While its North American ticket sales are muted, worldwide audiences are driving the $150 million Legendary and Universal production to stellar business overseas. To date, The Great…