With four new releases opening Valentines Day over the Presidents Day weekend, there were a few surprises at the box office. While reading this, these figures are based on the actual figures released Februrary 19.
Even with four high-profile romantic films, including two new releases, A Good Day to Die Hard managed to steal the show over the weekend, claiming the top spot at the box office with five-day total of $36.9 million. This is a bit lower than the opening for 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, but, considering fellow Expendables co-stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Jason Statham's recent solo films didn't even earn double digits upon their opening weekends, this is still very good, especially when romance is supposed to be king over Valentines Day Weekend. Bruce Willis announced he will do one more Die Hard film before retiring the popular John McClane character, so, regardless of grosses, we will get one more time hearing "Yippee-kay-yay!" on the big screen.
Being stunted in its opening weekend by last week's blizzard on the East Coast, Identity Thief stole second place with $27.5 million this weekend, bringing it's 11-day total to $74.7 million, making it easily the highest-grossing film released in 2013 thus far, and will become the first release this year to earn over $100 million.
Safe Haven, the first of two romantic film entries this weekend, earned $24.5 million ($33.3 million in five days), which was safe in third place. Nicholas Sparks adaptations do very well over Valentines Day Weekend, and, considering next weekend is going to be reasonably slow, Safe Haven will probably continue to gain a following.
In a fairly bizarre twist, animated film Escape From Planet Earth debuted in fourth place with $21.1 million. While not appearing romantic and with a paltry advertising campaign, Escape is the first animated film to bow in 2013, and the first true family film of the year thus far (Editorial note for parents: Die Hard and Hansel and Gretel are not kid-friendly), so it took full advantage of lack of family entertainment, but may not last long with Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1) and Oz The Great and Powerful (March 8) bowing soon.
Rounding out the top five is Warm Bodies, easing only 7.1% to a total of $10.6 million. Being the first post-Twilight supernatural romance film this year, Warm Bodies is getting wonderful word-of-mouth, and will possibly be 2013's first sleeper hit.
Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures, the final new release this weekend, did not fare as well, debuting in sixth place with a meager five-day total of $11.5 million. Possibly due to the fact the books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are not as popular as Stephanie Meyer's series, and the premise does not look unique enough in the trailers, Creatures has a long way to go before becoming a hit, and will have to rely on word-of-mouth to recoup costs.
Taking advantage of its own word-of-mouth not only from Valentines Day but also from the Oscars coming up next Sunday, Academy Award-nominated rom-com Silver Linings Playbook earned $7.4 million this weekend, which is over 15% better than last weekend. With a five-day total of $8.6 million, the Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence film has now earned $99.8 million, and will cross $100 million in the next day or two, making the sixth Oscar-nominated film to reach that milestone.
Speaking of milestones, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey crossed the $300 million mark with a domestic total of $300.2 million, making it the fifth highest grossing film of 2012 ahead of Breaking Dawn Part 2 and behind Skyfall.