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Weekend Wrap-Up: Vow Wows

February 13th, 2012

Another weekend, another win. For the sixth weekend in a row, 2012 has topped 2011 in the year-over-year, and like much of the year, it wasn't even close. The overall box office was up 66% from last weekend reaching $192 million. It was also 29% higher than the same weekend last year. All four wide releases beat expectations, sometimes by wide margins. Also, all earned more than $20 million, which is the first time that's happened on a non-holiday weekend. And two of them earned $40 million or more. Year-to-date, 2012 now has a 19% lead on 2011 at $1.19 billion to $1.00 billion. There is reason to be cautious however, as a lot of this growth is due to 2011 getting off to a disastrous start. It is still too soon to declare victory, but it is reason to at least be somewhat optimistic.

The Vow took top spot at the box office with a stunning debut of $41.20 million, which is slightly higher than the high end of expectations. This isn't the best opening for either Rachel McAdams or Channing Tatum; however, it is their best for non-action oriental movies and shows they have drawing power. Looking forward, its reviews are really bad and it will have to deal with previews for This Means War on Valentine's Day, so it might not get as large a boost as it otherwise would. On the other hand, it should still get some boost, while next weekend is a long weekend and its hold could be better than average. Becoming the first $100 million hit of the year is likely.

Likewise, after opening with $40.17 million over the weekend, Safe House is on track for $100 million. If it does reach the century mark, it would be the fourth such film for both Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Its reviews are only mixed while it does have to deal with direct competition next weekend. That said, it is very rare for a film to open with $40 million and still fail to reach $100 million in total. And with Presidents Day long weekend next weekend, that milestone becomes even more likely.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was a surprise hit with $27.34 million over the weekend, or about $10 million more than predicted. This is actually better than the original managed during its opening weekend. However, this film will have to deal with weaker reviews and it doesn't have the summer holidays boosting its midweek numbers. That said, it is well on its way to topping original expectations and it is earning even more money internationally, so it should have little trouble breaking even sooner rather than later.

Despite earning a little more than expected, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace had to settle for fourth place with $22.47 million during the first weekend of its 3D re-release. This pushes its total total to $453.56 million while it should have no trouble getting to $1 billion worldwide. This start is more than enough to get the other films in the franchise released on 3D, while I suspect once the original trilogy comes out, it will earn a lot more at the box office.

Chronicle rounded out the top five with $12.09 million over the weekend for a total of $39.96 million after two. At this point, it has already made enough money to cover its production budget, while it is probably halfway to paying for its P&A budget as well. It might get to that point just with its domestic box office.

The Woman in Black just missed the top five down 52% to $10.10 million over the weekend, which is a better than average hold for its genre. Its running tally rose to $35.26 million compared to a reported $23 million production budget. Furthermore, CBS Films only paid $3 million for the domestic distribution rights, so it was a very wise investment.

Further down the list we find Big Miracle in eighth place with $3.95 million during its sophomore stint. It barely avoided a 50% drop-off, while its running tally is just $13.28 million. Given its reviews, it should have performed better.

One last note, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo reached $100 million since last weekend. The film was an expensive movie to make, but its worldwide total suggests it will break even sometime on the home market.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Woman in Black, Big Miracle, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Safe House, The Vow, This Means War, Chronicle, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island