File the over $114 million the top-three films earned this weekend under: release movies, people will come. Hollywood used the combination of Valentine’s Day and President’s Day to unfurl three high-powered films and the results were predictably green. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. Valentine’s Day: $52.4 million ($52.4 million total)
If a movie called Valentine’s Day didn’t open at number one on Valentine’s Day weekend, we’re pretty sure the world would have stopped spinning on its axis. The definition of critic-proof—seriously, the Garry Marshall film had some of the worst reviews of the year, and that’s saying something—Valentine’s Day bowed to the third biggest February opening on record and just missed passing Sex and the City‘s romantic comedy opening benchmark of $57 million. Any bets on how much Valentine’s Day crumbles next weekend? Throw us down for a 75 percent drop.
2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: $31.1 million ($31.1 million total)
And if a movie with Olympians didn’t open at number two on the first weekend of the Winter Olympics… well, you get the idea. Not a juggernaut like Harry Potter or even The Chronicles of Narnia, the Chris Columbus-directed fantasy adaptation still performed quite well and should be a decent money returner for 20th Century Fox (The Lightning Thief was reportedly budgeted at $95 million). The film to keep in mind here is Bridge to Terabithia, which opened on this weekend three years ago with $22.5 million and wound up with $82 million. Should The Lightning Thief follow a similar path, it could wind up with somewhere around $120 million in total grosses.
3. The Wolfman: $30.6 million ($30.6 million total)
About the best thing we could say about the opening for The Wolfman was that it wasn’t nearly the disaster many had anticipated. After nearly 18 months of delays, scoring an opening weekend north of $30 million feels like a major victory for the sputtering Universal. Of course, considering The Wolfman reportedly cost $150 million (and that doesn’t include the massive marketing campaign), champagne corks probably aren’t being popped on the studio lot today.
4. Avatar: $22 million ($659.6 million total)
Yawn. If we were to tell you that Avatar broke the record for the biggest ninth weekend on record (surpassing Titanic once again), would you even bat an eyelash? We didn’t think so. That said: as boring as Avatar‘s runaway success has become, that it only dropped 4 percent this weekend is worth mentioning. People are clearly still rabid to see Pandora in all its 3-D glory over two months after the initial release.
5. Dear John: $15.3 million ($53.1 million total)
With the whirlwind that was Valentine’s Day sucking up all the romantic comedy dollars a big drop from Dear John was certainly expected. The tear jerking weepy dipped 49 percent but still had no problem holding off The Tooth Fairy ($5.6 million/$41.5 million total) for fifth place and should end its run with $75 million. Considering other high profile films like The Lovely Bones and Nine couldn’t even come close to a gross that large, this certainly qualifies as good news.
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