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Weekend Box Office: Die Hard, Safe Have Both Have Good Days

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By Chris Kavan - 02/18/13 at 01:03 AM CT

Considering the rough welcome for action stars, it looks like Bruce Willis was able to pull off a President's Day Weekend knockout - even if critics (myself included) weren't enamored with the results. And it turns out opening a Nicholas Spark's movie adaptation on Valentine's Day is a good idea - as romance helped it to a pretty good opening as well.

1) A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

It turns out action is not dead - not yet anyway. With the utter failure of The Last Stand, Bullet to the Head and Parker, it was looking like Willis would follow suit after some scathing reviews painted A Good Day to Die Hard as worthless and weak. Yet it turns out audiences were willing to give an established franchise the benefit of the doubt. The fifth Die Hard managed a nice $25 million weekend ($33.2 million with its early opening factored in). While that was short of early estimates in the $40-$50 million range, considering the reviews (and the failure of all those earlier action films) it still has to be considered a win. It still has a ways to go to hit its $92 million budget. Audiences were nice enough to award it a B+ - not exactly sure what movie I was watching, but I would drop that to an unimpressive C on my end - so thumbing their noses at critics, it may have a decent shelf life.

2) IDENTITY THIEF

After opening pretty strong last weekend, Identity Thief had a pretty good hold, dropping 32% to take in $23.4 million in its second week. That brought its total up to $70.7 million - doubling its budget - and it should have little trouble topping $100 million in the next few weeks. The film currently stands as the highest-grossing film of 2013 and will probably retain that distinction handily until March.

3) SAFE HAVEN

Romance was in the air - and audiences were in the mood for another Spark's adaptation. Although it fell short of taking the second spot, the $21.4 million wasn't far behind Identity Thief and factoring in the early opening, Safe Haven stands at $30.2 million. The movie represented the third-best weekend for a Spark's-based film behind Dear John ($30.4 million) and The Lucky One ($22.5 million). If it follows the same patter as The Vow from last year, it should wind up somewhere near the $100 million mark. Audiences gave this a B+ as well, meaning those in the mood for romance will likely be happy with the results.

4) ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH

With not other pesky family movies at the box office, the animated film managed a decent, if unspectacular $16 million opening. Everything I've seen about this movie screams "generic kids film" to me - but with a modest $40 million budget, it should at least break even and foreign grosses will most likely mean it will be an overall winner. Still, this is the film version of shovelware as far as I'm concerned and unless you need to entertain someone in the 5-9 age range, I don't see why you would bother with this one.

5) WARM BODIES

Dropping just 20.7% from last weekend the zombie romance film took in another $9 million and raised its total to $50.2 million. Who would have thought the undead could be so successful at love? It's not Identity Thief, but it's managed a nice, tidy sum and should wind up near the $75 million mark before it stalls out.

Outside the top five: While Warm Bodies probably still caught the YA crowd, it wasn't such good news for Beautiful Creatures. Although I thought it stood a better chance given the source material, apparently fans of the books weren't happy with the changes as the film could only muster an anemic $7.4 million in sixth place (just over $10 million since opening early). Don't look for this to spawn a franchise and much like Golden Compass, Eragon and His Dark Materials - popularity does not always translate to a big box office.

The Silver Linings Playbook may have dropped from 4th to 8th, but still had the best hold of any film in the top 10, dropping just 5.2% from last weekend. It added another $6.08 million to the bank, winding up at $98.4 million and, with President's Day on Monday - should be able to break the $100 million mark.

Another film that should break a major milestone by Monday is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which should finally be able to top $300 million Lincoln also topped the $175 million mark, while Argo topped $125 million.

Next week Keri Russell gets into the horror game with Dark Skies while Dwayne Johnson will see if a young man can have better luck at the action genre than the old men when he launched Snitch.

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