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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases Stumble, but Winning Streak Still Safe

February 21st, 2012

Two of the three wide releases missed expectations and the best of the bunch, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, only managed third place over the weekend. However, the overall box office still pulled out a win in the year-over-year comparison. The box office did fall 19% from last weekend to $156 million, but this was 8% higher than the same weekend last year, which is much more important. The lead over last year grew to over $200 million at $1.46 billion to $1.23 billion, or 18%. Granted, it is still too early to celebrate, but so far the year-over-year numbers are fantastic while next weekend it looks even better.

Safe House rose to first place with $23.64 million over three days and $27.54 million over four. After eleven days of release, the film has earned $81.81 million. At this pace, the film will be the fourth film in both Denzel Washington's and Ryan Reynolds' careers to reach the century mark. And it could get there as soon as this time next week.

Likewise, The Vow is also on pace to reach $100 million by this time next week after pulling in $23.07 million / $26.64 million over the weekend for a total of $88.57 million after two. It will likely become the first $100 million hit of 2012, but won't be alone in that club for long.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance debuted in third place with $22.12 million from Friday through Sunday, and only managed fourth place if you include Monday with $25.47 million. This was an expensive movie to make and with its very weak reviews there's little hope it will have strong legs. It will have to rely on international number and home market numbers to break even, and I'm not bullish about its chances to do that.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island held on a little better than expected with $19.85 million / $25.93 million over the weekend for a total of $59.05 million after two. I don't know if this film will eventually get to $100 million, but the possibility remains. Even if it doesn't get there, the studio should be happy, because it is closing in on original expectations, while it is performing even better internationally. At this pace, $250 million is an easy target, while I assume the studio is trying to figure out what other Jules Verne novel they can adapt to stretch the franchise into a trilogy.

This Means War opened with $1.61 million on Valentine's Day, while it added $17.41 million / $20.01 million over the weekend, for a total opening of $21.62 million. Given the amount of action in them movie, it was probably relatively expensive to make, especially compared to most romantic comedies, so it's going to need good legs to get by. However, its reviews are only 25% positive, so that's unlikely.

Before its 3D re-release, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace needed about $75 million to hit $1 billion worldwide. It's almost there. Domestically is made $7.97 million / $9.92 million over the weekend for a total of $35.79 million during its re-release. With its initial release, it has $464.93 million domestically, putting it in fourth place on the All Time chart.

The Secret World of Arietty opened a little stronger than most expected with $6.45 million / $8.68 million. This is still a niche market opening, but with its reviews, perhaps the market will grow a little bit more. Granted, it would be nice if Anime could have a breakout hit, but slow and steady growth might be as good as it gets.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Safe House, The Vow, This Means War, The Secret World of Arietty, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island