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Weekend Box-Office: February 17-19, 2012

02.19.2012

Safe House locks out Ghost Rider!

As GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE burned rubber (and a head, and urine, and some dudes, and pretty much everything else) at theaters this weekend, last week's leaders were busy switching places at the top of the list.

The Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds R-rated action-thriller SAFE HOUSE sealed up the #1 slot with another $24M, bringing its two-week total to over $78M -- a few handsome hairs away from its $85M budget, but still a solid performer that will probably cross the $100M mark by the close of next weekend.

Romance was still in the air as the lingering Valentine's Day luvness brought more ladies out for THE VOW, which was close behind the gun-toting guys with $23.6M, and already an $85M total . Both movies extinguished the flaming face of Nic Cage, as his sequel GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE smoldered in third place with a $22M opening -- less than half of the original GHOST RIDER's $45M debut on this same weekend in 2007.

The critically reviled McG-directed action-romcom THIS MEANS WAR fizzled in fifth with $17.5M (after a Valentine's Day preview). The Fox project had been in the works for a decade or so, with actors like Martin Lawrence, Sam Worthington, Seth Rogen, Colin Farrell and Bradley Cooper attached or pursued for the leads before Chris Pine and Tom Hardy got conned into duking it out for the affections of Reese Witherspoon.

The week's other new release, the Disney-distributed Studio Ghibli animated film THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY, barely got noticed in ninth place with $6.4M. The movie did seem under-promoted in the US, but it's already made $126M internationally.

Meanwhile, JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND had the smallest drop in business (26%) from last week, keeping the top 4 pretty tight as it added another $20M to its total. Hardly a smash but not a bad hold compared to the 40% drop of the top two and the 65% plunge of the 3D reissue of STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE, down in sixth with $7.8M and with CHRONICLE and THE WOMAN IN BLACK not far behind it. In the run-up to next week's Oscars, some of the contenders (HUGO, THE DESCENDANTS, THE ARTIST, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE) are still wrestling with each other on a few hundred screens outside the Top 10.

With President's Day on Monday and lots of school vacation all week, the box office should remain fairly strong for a few days. But perhaps due to fears of fighting all the Oscar attention, next week has some lower-profile releases hitting theaters, including TYLER PERRY'S GOOD DEEDS, the R-rated Rudd/Aniston comedy WANDERLUST, the Amanda Seyfried thriller GONE, and the purportedly realistic Navy SEALs movie ACT OF VALOR. What's your favorite performace by GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE star Nic Cage? VOTE HERE!

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# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Safe House $24 M $78.3 M
2. The Vow $23.6 M $85.5 M
3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance $22 M
NEW
4. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island $20 M $53.2 M
5. This Means War $17.5 M $19.1 M
6. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (3D) $7.8 M $33.7 M
7. Chronicle $7.5 M $50.9 M
8. The Woman in Black $6.6 M $45.2 M
9. The Secret World of Arrietty $6.4 M
NEW
10. The Grey $3 M $47.9 M

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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