‘The Vow’ Slips By ‘Safe House’ at Box Office

For the 2nd Time Ever, Four Movies Open With $20+ Million Each

February 13, 2012 by

In another close race for first place in the domestic box office, The Vow slipped by Safe House last weekend, the first non-holiday weekend ever (and only the second time overall, behind Christmas weekend 2008) to have four different movies open to over $20 million each. Although it’s not until tomorrow, Valentine’s Day probably had something to do with it as romantic drama The Vow led the pack with an estimated $41.7 million, barely beating Safe House‘s $39.3 million, which was Denzel Washington’s second best opening ever (behind American Gangster). Featuring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, The Vow broke the record for Screen Gems’ biggest debut, which was previously held by another Tatum romance, Dear John.

Despite settling for bronze in its opening, merely medalling was an impressive achievement for the family-friendly action/adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island because although all top three movies of the weekend outperformed expectations, it blew away experts’ forecasts by doubling up on most predictions.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the first of George Lucas’ iconic pair of sci-fi trilogies to be rolled out again in 3D this time around, debuted in fourth place with $23 million, almost exactly in the middle of the debuts of Disney’s recent 3D re-releases of animated masterpieces The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Not bad for the suckiest and Jar Jar Binksiest Star Wars movie as it padded its grand total and jumped from eighth place all-time domestically to fifth. “WEESA GUNNA DIEEEE?!?” No, Jar Jar. As long as Lucas is alive, I’m sure you’ll be re-released over and over again in various versions.

Rounding out the top five was last week’s champ, found-footage film Chronicle. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, one of our honorable mentions for best action/adventure movie of 2011, crossed the half-billion mark in total gross.

Here were the top five in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. The Vow — Weekend Gross: $41.7 million — Total Gross: $41.7 million (new)
  2. Safe House — Weekend Gross: $39.3 million — Total Gross: $39.3 million (new)
  3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island — Weekend Gross: $27.6 million — Total Gross: $27.6 million (new)
  4. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace — Weekend Gross: $23 million — Total Gross: $23 million (re-release), $454.1 million (total) (new)
  5. Chronicle — Weekend Gross: $12.3 million — Total Gross: $40.2 million (#1 last week)