Box Office Results: Die Hard Wins Presidents’ Day Weekend… But Barely!

The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The long Presidents’ Day weekend at movie theaters began on Thursday with the Valentine’s Day release of three movies. While one of them took the early lead, jockeying between two popular new movies and last week’s returning hit comedy Identity Thief made it so that the Valentine’s Day winner dropped to second on Friday and ended up third for the extended four-day holiday weekend.

By the time the smoke had cleared on Monday morning, Bruce Willis’ return as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard (20th Century Fox), co-starring Jai Courtney, was clearly in the lead winning the weekend with an estimated $29.3 million for the four day weekend, about $8,250 per location, with a five-day total of $37.5 million. The movie opened domestically on 302 digital IMAX screens where it brought in roughly $4.2 million.

By comparison, John McClane’s last movie Live Free or Die Hard, released by the 4th of July in 2007, grossed $48.4 million in its first five days on its way to $134.5 million total. Opening during the summer and being rated PG-13 could have contributed to the higher opening, but its doubtful that its sequel, which was plagued by negative reviews, will even hit the $100 million mark domestically.

Internationally, A Good Day to Die Hard was a major hit, bringing in $61.5 million over the weekend–roughly $8.7 million of that amount from IMAX theaters–to bring its global haul to $113.5 million so far.

Last week’s hit comedy Identity Thief (Universal), starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, dropped to second place with $27.7 million, a minimal 19% drop from its impressive opening weekend. It has grossed $75 million to date.

The Nicholas Sparks adaptation, the second by director Lasse Hallstrom, Safe Haven (Relativity Media, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, took third place with $25.2 million in 3,223 theaters, roughly $7800 per location, after winning Valentine’s Day with $8.8 million to “Die Hard’s” $8.2 million.

The first PG animated family movie of the year Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Company), featuring the voices of Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, George Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Brendan Fraser, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner and more, opened on Friday to take fourth place for the holiday weekend with roughly $21 million.

Summit Entertainment’s zombie comedy Warm Bodies, based on Isaac Marion’s novel, took fifth place with $10.2 million over the four-day weekend and a total gross of $51.5 million since opening at the beginning of February. It’s currently Summit’s fifth highest-grossing non-“Twilight” movie although it’s likely to become their third highest-grossing movie not based on a Stephenie Meyer novel.

Beautiful Creatures, Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment’s attempt at a “Twilight”-like hit based on a young adult novel, this one starring Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum and Viola Davis, tanked with just $8.9 million in 2,950 theaters over the four-day weekend. It opened in sixth place with approximately $3,000 per location showing that the readers of the book series had no interest in a movie. Of all the new movies, it received the lowest CinemaScore, a B, as opposed to the B+ given to the other three new movies.

Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Side Effects (Open Road) dropped to seventh place with $7.8 million over the four-day weekend with a total of $20.6 million after eleven days.

David O. Russell’s Oscar-nominated comedy Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) hit the $100 million mark this weekend after three months in theaters, grossing $7.6 million over the holiday weekend to take eighth place. It’s the sixth Oscar Best Picture nominee to hit the $100 million mark which apparently is a record -granted, this is only the fourth year with more than five Best Picture nominees.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $146 million over the four-day weekend which is down 12% from last Presidents’ Day when the action-thriller Safe House won the weekend with $27.5 million and the top new movie, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, only opened in fourth place with $25.5 million.

Opening in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, Pablo Larrain’s Oscar-nominated political drama No (Sony Pictures Classics), starring Gael Garcia Bernal, scored the highest per-theater average of the weekend with $23.7 thousand per location to open with $95 thousand.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.


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