Hollywood has jumped on the 3-D bandwagon after the success of “Avatar,” but will the massive opening of “Valentine’s Day” make superstar ensemble comedies the next big trend? With $14.6 million in the bank after Friday and anywhere from $55-60 million expected for President’s Day weekend you can almost guarantee it.
Following the success of last year’s “He’s Just Not That Into You,” New Line upped the ante for “Valentine’s Day” by packing even more A-list stars into the package and centering the entire rom com around one genre friendly holiday. Because most of the stars only worked for a few weeks (if that) it wasn’t as expensive to produce as you might think and now the Warner Bros. division has already put a sequel tentatively centered on “New Year’s Eve” into development. Suggestion: make sure you get a better script and bring back Julia Roberts and Taylor Lautner, OK guys?
As for Friday’s other openers, Chris Columbus’ big screen adaptation of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief” and Joe Johnson’s “The Wolfman” both battled for second with $9.7 million and $9.8 million respectively. By the time the weekend is over, however, “Percy Jackson” should pull ahead with $45-50 million based on an expected family matinee bounce on Saturday and Sunday. Plus, Monday should be strong with kids out of school. This is a pretty impressive opening for Fox and if the picture can fare as well overseas it may be the start of a new franchise for Columbus and crew (something he knows a little about after helming the first two “Harry Potter” films).
“Wolfman,” on the other hand, is the only R-rated new opener of the weekend. The big question is whether it plays like an action film or a more traditional horror flick. If the results reflect the later it’s looking at the low end of a $30-40 million four-day with Friday probably being its biggest day. If the former occurs, the Benecio Del Toro and Emily Blunt spookfest could end up at the higher end of projections.
Refusing to end the war in fourth place was James Cameron’s “Avatar” with another $4.5 million. The Oscar contender could do anywhere from $22-26 million for the frame and its record-setting haul now stands at $642 million domestically.
Dropping a bit more than expected thanks to the competing appeal of “Valentine’s Day” was “Dear John” with another $4 million. The Channing Tatum and Amanday Seyfriend tearjerker could do another $18-22 million for the weekend.
Look for more box office updates as the weekend progresses on HitFix.