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Weekend Box-Office: February 10-12, 2012

02.12.2012

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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