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Weekend Box-Office: February 10-12, 2012

Feb. 12, 2012by: Dave Davis

Wow -- The Vow!

Roses are red, dollars are green, THE VOW was the movie that was most often seen. With Valentine's Day looming, ladies were clearly looking for a little romance, and that's exactly what they got (along the men who were presumably dragged along) in theaters with THE VOW. The very thought of Channing Tatum wooing back his amnesiac wife (Rachel McAdams) was apparently so irresistible, it propelled the attractive smoochers to the top with $41.7M. Considering the modest $30M budget, Sony must be elated that Cupid had a full quiver this weekend.

But don't feel bad for the other new releases, which stacked up under THE VOW at the top of the chart. The Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds action-thriller SAFE HOUSE wasn't far behind, claiming second place with a solid $39.3M start. It's also one of Denzel's highest openings, with only AMERICAN GANGSTER making more on the first weekend back in 2007 ($43.5M). THE BOOK OF ELI was a bit behind SAFE HOUSE with $32.7M, which was still a strong opening considering that movie's mid-January release. This could also be the start of a rebound for Reynolds, still shaking off the GREEN LANTERN taint.

Further behind was the new family-friendly 3D pseudo-sequel JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. The follow-up to JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH only brought back Josh Hutcherson (who's bound to have a bigger opening next month with THE HUNGER GAMES) and swaps out Brendan Fraser for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Certainly a fair trade for audiences, and for the movie's $27.5M opening compared to the first one's $21M debut (but then, the sequel's production budget was also about $20M higher, because pecs aren't cheap).

Fighting for eyes in an extra dimension was the 3D re-release of STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE, which brought in $23M as it introduced Darth Maul and bad child acting to a new generation of younglings (who haven't experienced it at home yet, anyway) while reminding older STAR WARS fans (who first struggled to reconcile the movie's myriad flaws 13 years ago) that George Lucas values their money more than their enjoyment.

Last week's tight top two were still duking it out this week, just further down the list. CHRONICLE dropped about 44% and brought in another $12.3M. With over $40M in the bank so far, that $12M budget for a superpowered teen movie was clearly a good investment for Fox (which still has their hands on some of Marvel's superhero rights -- could we dare hope they'll use them wisely next time?). The Daniel Radcliffe-fronted Gothic horror movie THE WOMAN IN BLACK lost about half its business but still scared up another $10.3M for a $35.4M total so far.

For the second week of February, it was quite busy at the box office overall -- compare it to this time last year, which also had four new releases at the top: Adam Sandler's JUST GO WITH IT ($30.5M), JUSTIN BEIBER: NEVER SAY NEVER ($29.5M), the CG kidflick GNOMEO AND JULIET ($25.3M), and Tatum finding less success in the period action movie THE EAGLE ($8.6M).

Meanwhile, THE DESCENDANTS is still the only awards-fave in the Top 10 (crossing the $70M mark) with competitors nowhere to be seen, although THE ARTIST is still performing well on less than 1000 screens. RED TAILS was grounded this week, and Katherine Heigl and Sam Worthington departed, taking ONE FOR THE MONEY and MAN ON A LEDGE with them.

Next week offers Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fighting (literally) for the affection of Reese Witherspoon in THIS MEANS WAR (which has a Tuesday preview for Valentine's Day before its "official" Friday opening), the Studio Ghibli adventure THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY (already an international hit), and Nic Cage's flaming head (again) in GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE. What's your favorite work by SAFE HOUSE star Denzel Washington? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Vow $41.7 M
NEW
2. Safe House $39.3 M
NEW
3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island $27.5 M
NEW
4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D $23 M
NEW
5. Chronicle $12.3 M $40.1 M
6. The Woman in Black $10.3 M $35.4 M
7. The Grey $5 M $42.8 M
8. Big Miracle $3.9 M $13.2 M
9. The Descendants $3.5 M $70.7 M
10. Underworld: Awakening $2.5 M $58.9 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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3:32PM on 02/12/2012
"THE PHANTOM MENACE, which brought in $23M as it introduced Darth Maul and bad child acting to a new generation of younglings" - lol.. My kids won't know the prequels exist until they're old enough to know what they're watching.

What a massive haul for the box office after a couple of slow weeks... glad to see that Denzel still has it.
"THE PHANTOM MENACE, which brought in $23M as it introduced Darth Maul and bad child acting to a new generation of younglings" - lol.. My kids won't know the prequels exist until they're old enough to know what they're watching.

What a massive haul for the box office after a couple of slow weeks... glad to see that Denzel still has it.
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3:51PM on 02/12/2012
Wow, interesting to see that R rated movies have been doing so well in theaters recently. I did not expect Safe House to almost take the top spot on the weekend before Valentine's Day.
Wow, interesting to see that R rated movies have been doing so well in theaters recently. I did not expect Safe House to almost take the top spot on the weekend before Valentine's Day.
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4:12PM on 02/12/2012
Just wanted to comment on your avatar... I love Miike Snow!
Just wanted to comment on your avatar... I love Miike Snow!
3:58PM on 02/12/2012
Couples went to see The Vow and singles went to see Safe House. Keep trolling single people America.
Couples went to see The Vow and singles went to see Safe House. Keep trolling single people America.
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4:40PM on 02/12/2012
Damn, a lot of folks went to the movies this weekend. It has been a slow 2012 box office wise.
Damn, a lot of folks went to the movies this weekend. It has been a slow 2012 box office wise.
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5:02PM on 02/12/2012

To the contrary...

2012 has actually been running ahead of 2011 in box office receipts, this weekend being no exception. That doesn't change the fact that I'm amazed at how much money a lot of these movies actually made. Flabbergasting, it is. Chronicle should have been #1 again.
2012 has actually been running ahead of 2011 in box office receipts, this weekend being no exception. That doesn't change the fact that I'm amazed at how much money a lot of these movies actually made. Flabbergasting, it is. Chronicle should have been #1 again.
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5:48PM on 02/12/2012
Star Wars a flop? I hope so. (can't believe I'm saying that)
Star Wars a flop? I hope so. (can't believe I'm saying that)
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5:20AM on 02/13/2012
Considering it is the second time around and most people have already seen it I would say it was not a flop.
Considering it is the second time around and most people have already seen it I would say it was not a flop.
6:30PM on 02/12/2012
Phantom Menace's 3D was not necessarily the kind where the movie comes out to you but rather brings you into the movie - if that makes any sense. If you (like me) enjoy the film, I highly recommend going, I honestly (and surprisingly) had a blast with it.
Phantom Menace's 3D was not necessarily the kind where the movie comes out to you but rather brings you into the movie - if that makes any sense. If you (like me) enjoy the film, I highly recommend going, I honestly (and surprisingly) had a blast with it.
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7:13PM on 02/12/2012
the only reason I'm commenting on this is cause in that pic Rachel McAdams looks like Ally Sheedy. LOL! tell me I'm wrong.
the only reason I'm commenting on this is cause in that pic Rachel McAdams looks like Ally Sheedy. LOL! tell me I'm wrong.
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+2
7:56PM on 02/12/2012
"George Lucas values their money more than their enjoyment."

So, so true. I can't believe there were 23 million dollars worth of dumbshits willing to sit through this crap again.
"George Lucas values their money more than their enjoyment."

So, so true. I can't believe there were 23 million dollars worth of dumbshits willing to sit through this crap again.
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+11
8:53PM on 02/12/2012
wow no doubt every single guy who took their girl to see The Vow got laid that night.
wow no doubt every single guy who took their girl to see The Vow got laid that night.
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9:27PM on 02/12/2012
That's what I'm fucking talking about!

An R-RATED action movie nearly fucks over a PG-13 romance film on VALENTINE'S DAY!

You see that shit, Stallone? Give the fans what they want, they'll come out to play.
That's what I'm fucking talking about!

An R-RATED action movie nearly fucks over a PG-13 romance film on VALENTINE'S DAY!

You see that shit, Stallone? Give the fans what they want, they'll come out to play.
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11:35PM on 02/12/2012
These are the top ten movies out right now, what a sad sight.
These are the top ten movies out right now, what a sad sight.
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1:47AM on 02/13/2012
well what else were you expecting, it's only february, but these solid nubers, i mean 6 films over 10 mil.
well what else were you expecting, it's only february, but these solid nubers, i mean 6 films over 10 mil.
+16
11:54PM on 02/12/2012
Wow a romance and an R rated movie took the number one and number 2 spot. Not a shitty remake, not a pg-13 movie, and not a comic book related film. Nice, see Hollywood variety is a good thing. And to those who may be bitter, close minded and/or immature romance films are not just for women. You can still be a man and appreciate a romance. Good movies come in all shapes and sizes, step outside your bitter geek boxes every now and again, it won't kill you.

OH and shame on any of you Star
Wow a romance and an R rated movie took the number one and number 2 spot. Not a shitty remake, not a pg-13 movie, and not a comic book related film. Nice, see Hollywood variety is a good thing. And to those who may be bitter, close minded and/or immature romance films are not just for women. You can still be a man and appreciate a romance. Good movies come in all shapes and sizes, step outside your bitter geek boxes every now and again, it won't kill you.

OH and shame on any of you Star Wars people who paid movie theater money to see Phantom Menace. It's a piece of shit, and guess what it's on blu ray which doesn't get any better looking or sounding just watch that. Please stop rewarding that fat bastard for recycling the same shit over and over and over pretty please.
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3:15AM on 02/13/2012

Here's a question, slightly off topic.


I have a five-year-old who isn't quite ready for Star Wars, but I've been wondering what to do when he is.

Do I put aside my own feelings of resentment and hatred and start with Episode I, or do I just pretend they don't exist (at first) and start with Episode IV?

You know, as much as it pains me to say this, I have a feeling that most children these days would actually prefer the prequels to the original trilogy (which are much older films and less flashy).

Maybe when said children

I have a five-year-old who isn't quite ready for Star Wars, but I've been wondering what to do when he is.

Do I put aside my own feelings of resentment and hatred and start with Episode I, or do I just pretend they don't exist (at first) and start with Episode IV?

You know, as much as it pains me to say this, I have a feeling that most children these days would actually prefer the prequels to the original trilogy (which are much older films and less flashy).

Maybe when said children are older they'll realize that the older films are of a much higher quality.

Or, you know, maybe they won't and we'll have to deal with it by ranting to anyone who will listen while pouring ourselves another glass of Metamucil.

Anyone here have a similar situation? What did you do?
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9:16AM on 02/13/2012
@ericArk
'Luke, I am your father.' -This is one of the most misquoted lines in cinema history. It’s “No, I am your father”. Signed Star Wars nerd. :)

@Cigarette Burn
I took my 5 year old to see TPM last night. I had the same issue, do I sit back and let him fall into the lights and glitter of the prequels or r should I shelter him from the madness. Now, he has seen all 6 multiple times and I can always count on him to bring one of the originals out when I tell him to pick a movie for
@ericArk
'Luke, I am your father.' -This is one of the most misquoted lines in cinema history. It’s “No, I am your father”. Signed Star Wars nerd. :)

@Cigarette Burn
I took my 5 year old to see TPM last night. I had the same issue, do I sit back and let him fall into the lights and glitter of the prequels or r should I shelter him from the madness. Now, he has seen all 6 multiple times and I can always count on him to bring one of the originals out when I tell him to pick a movie for us to watch. I caved as he saw the commercial for TPM 3D and wanted to go. As I sat there thinking did I pay too much to fall asleep, I kept looking at him and seeing the smile and excitement on his face. Him laughing at the idiotic battle droids and Jar-Jar. Literally sitting on the edge of his seat during the pod race (by the way was the only good part in 3D) and cheering for Anakin when he blows-up the Trade federation’s command ship. He loved it the same way I did as a kid with the original 3 and that’s what matters. I say take him, he will enjoy it.
8:59AM on 02/13/2012
Thanks guys.

ericArk, I'm not sure Lucas would agree with you, but your point about the twist being ruined is pretty much spot on.

I'll probably give Episode IV a shot first and see how he takes to it, if he doesn't I'll then give Episode I a try.

If only A New Hope had Luke stepping in "bantha pudu" after looking at the twin sunset, maybe that would up its kid appeal.
Thanks guys.

ericArk, I'm not sure Lucas would agree with you, but your point about the twist being ruined is pretty much spot on.

I'll probably give Episode IV a shot first and see how he takes to it, if he doesn't I'll then give Episode I a try.

If only A New Hope had Luke stepping in "bantha pudu" after looking at the twin sunset, maybe that would up its kid appeal.
6:20AM on 02/13/2012
'Luke, I am your father.' -This is one of the most surprising twists in movie history. Letting anyone watch the prequels first ruins this moment. Feelings for the quality of prequel aside, at the end of the day, they are Prequels and are intended to be seen AFTER the original trilogy.
'Luke, I am your father.' -This is one of the most surprising twists in movie history. Letting anyone watch the prequels first ruins this moment. Feelings for the quality of prequel aside, at the end of the day, they are Prequels and are intended to be seen AFTER the original trilogy.
5:15AM on 02/13/2012
Way back in the early eighties my sister and I watched a double feature of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. There was an intermission in between and there was a kid who was asking her parents if she could go home: she had seen Star Wars now and didn't want to see Empire. The point is that you can't expect everybody to react the same way as you. I think if you show them the original trilogy and they like it and you say there's a series of prequels then you are going to set them up for
Way back in the early eighties my sister and I watched a double feature of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. There was an intermission in between and there was a kid who was asking her parents if she could go home: she had seen Star Wars now and didn't want to see Empire. The point is that you can't expect everybody to react the same way as you. I think if you show them the original trilogy and they like it and you say there's a series of prequels then you are going to set them up for disappointment just as we were but, then again, I think the first two movies do fine on their own showing a lot of flash and minimal romance. The third movie might actually be a bit frightening for young kids. My god... Anakin falls in lava for god's sake. Why not start with Episode I and go from there but keep in mind that Episode 3 might be too intense for young viewers.
7:32AM on 02/13/2012
does this mean we will be seeing a THE VOW 2, where he loses his memory, or maybe their kid looses its memory or something?
does this mean we will be seeing a THE VOW 2, where he loses his memory, or maybe their kid looses its memory or something?
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