Proving America’s need for star-filled romantic comedies may have no limit, Gary Marshall’s “Valentine’s Day” had a monster opening over the holiday weekend with $66.9 million. That easily breaks the previous President’s Day weekend record and should be a hugely profitable flick for Warner Bros. with a reported cost of $50 million. Plus, stars Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx — all actors in need of some positive box office news — can now have their names associated with a monster hit for only a few weeks worth of work. Yes, everyone wins on this romantic holiday weekend.
Another winner was 20th Century Fox’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” The kid-friendly adventure actually expanded beyond its base for a strong $38.8 million. Whether the $100 million or so budgeted adventure launches a franchise will now doubt depend on how “Percy” plays overseas. However, it’s positive news for director Chris Columbus’ last two disasters, “Rent” and “I Love You Beth Cooper.”
Third place went to Universal Pictures’ “The Wolfman” which found a solid $36.5 million. Considering the competition, the R-rated film did very well and played more like an event-thriller than a traditional horror film which no doubt came as a relief to the studio. Whether the film makes back its reported $110 budget remains to be seen, but considering all the negative buzz on the long-delayed feature executives in Universal City are surely breathing some huge sighs of relief.
“Avatar” continued to roll over the 4-day with another $30 million to bring its record-setting U.S. gross to $667,605,000. Worldwide? How about $2.35 billion? That means good times on the 20th Century Fox lot whether or not James Cameron’s epic wins the Oscar for Best Picture or not.
Last week’s No. 1, “Dear John,” endured a competitive pounding from “Valentine’s Day” to gross another $18 million and run its total box office to $56.6 million so far. As noted previously, “John’s” shot at $100 million is pretty much gone, but it should reach the $80 million mark another Nicolas Spark romance, “The Notebook,” found in 2004.
Among other releases, Fox Searchlight had a great weekend with the “My Name is Khan” grossing an impressive $2.27 million in only 120 theaters for a top 20 best $18,958 average. Oscar favorite “Crazy Heart” continued it’s excellent run with another $5 million and a new cume of $17.5 million. $30 million plus isn’t out of the question for a drama that only cost $7 million to produce.
Other notable figures, “The Blind Side” hit a staggering $245 million, “The Book of Eli” reached $88 million (with $100 million realistically in sight), “Tooth Fairy” is at $43 million, “Sherlock Homes” is at $204 million, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is at $295 million and “The Princess and the Frog” hit $101. 8 million.
This Friday’s openers include “Shutter Island” and in limited release, “The Ghost Writer.”