The box office results for 2012’s President’s Day weekend will see the top five flicks secure at least $20 million for their respective studios. And by doing so, the strong resurgence at the domestic box office rages on. Here are the 3-day studio estimates:

1. Safe House ($23.9 million)

2. The Vow ($23.6 million)

3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ($22 million)

4. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($20.1 million)

5. This Means War ($17.5 million)

6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace ($7.8 million)

7. Chronicle ($7.5 million)

8. The Woman in Black ($6.6 million)

9. The Secret World of Arrietty ($6.3 million)

10. The Grey ($3.1 million)


It takes a man to admit when he is wrong; and the way Safe House is performing, yours truly was wrong. The Universal release experienced just a 40% drop from its opening weekend and that’s actually very good for the studio that has been dealing with rotten luck at the box office.

The Vow is also experiencing a similar trend, dropping only 43%. Despite poor reviews, the lingering affects of Valentine’s Day are clearly helping this product out.

Speaking of V-day bait, This Means War made a last minute move to release on the Friday after the Hallmark holiday, as opposed to the original idea of unveiling its rom-com/action arsenal on Valentine’s Day. Whether this move by Twentieth Century Fox will payoff remains to be seen; especially when factoring in the $70 million production budget. And on top of that, the enormous ad campaign that was executed in the weeks leading up to its release. Seriously, how many billboards did they rent for this?

Despite having the added benefit of 3D ticket prices, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opened far below the first installment’s debut ($45.3 million). While the first flick wasn’t well-received, fans were clamoring for more of the 2nd tier comic book anti-hero. Apparently, their friends have already spread the word – just as the lovely critics did – to avoid like the plague. Having a relatively low budget of $75 million – for a heavily laced CGI flick – gives this flick a shot to find the black ink. But in reality, the only chance in hell this sequel has is if the international audience makes up the difference at theaters and/or on DVD/On-Demand.

Look for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to leap frog Ghost Rider thanks to Monday holiday when the 4-day actuals come out on Tuesday.

The Grey currently has the longest streak in the top ten with 4 weeks. It’s domestic total is up to $48 million off a production budget of $25 million. Open Road Films could have a Sleeper Hit on its hands.

This Friday brings moviegoers another solid helping of flicks with Act of Valor, Gone, Good Deeds and Wanderlust. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers!

By Joe Belcastro

The Vow
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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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