Box Office Results for February 24, 2012

This weekend, American audiences were in the mood to support the troops as the Navy SEAL film Act of Valor ruled the Oscar frame with impressive results.  Tyler Perry and Jennifer Aniston both saw some of the worst openings of their careers with their new offerings Good Deeds and Wanderlust, respectively, while Amanda Seyfried proved that she can’t open a film on her own as her latest picture Gone was dead on arrival.  Top Academy Award hopefuls continued to see respectable business outside the top ten from movie fans eager to see the likely winners before Sunday night’s big ceremony.

Relativity enjoyed its second overperforming number one hit in four months with the military actioner Act of Valor, which exceeded expectations debuting to an estimated $24.7M.  The bold experimental film featuring active duty Navy SEALs acting in a fictional story averaged a muscular $8,128 from 3,039 theaters and finished well ahead of all competing films.  A heavy male-skewing marketing push that tapped into American patriotism worked well allowing the R-rated entry to open better than most other action vehicles this year.  Critics and paying audiences had vastly different opinions, though, as reviews were mostly negative while moviegoers gave a glowing A CinemaScore grade.

Act of Valor and its CIA rescue operation plot played heavily to men as 71% of the crowd was male, according to studio research.  60% was 25 and older while 63% was Caucasian.  Four pricey TV spots airing throughout Super Bowl Sunday were key ingredients to reaching the target audience and the investment seemed to have paid off.  The film was produced the Bandito Brothers for $12M and acquired for $13M by Relativity which also backed it with aggressive marketing support.  Releasing a film featuring real-life American heroes in harm’s way during a time when politicians are bickering during a nasty election season may also have been a good move to lure people into theaters for some home-grown, testosterone-filled entertainment.

Tyler Perry took second place with his latest film Good Deeds,which debuted to an estimated $16M from 2,132 locations for a $7,505 average.  Though a solid performance, it was the second worst opening ever for the filmmaker beating out only 2007’s Daddy’s Little Girls, which bowed to $11.2M after a Wednesday launch.  Perry has now directed eleven films over the past six years and his best results come from when he plays his popular Madea character.  In Good Deeds, he played a new character and essentially anchored the film on his own with just himself on the poster while co-star Thandie Newton got much less visibility.  The continued strength of Denzel Washington‘s Safe House, which months ago was never expected to be in double digit millions in its third weekend, also may have been a factor.  Most of Perry’s non-Madea films have opened near the $20M mark.

Posting another low decline for the second weekend in a row was the adventure hit Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with an estimated $13.5M, off only 32%.  The New Line and Walden release has now banked $76.7M in North America to date, a healthy 27% ahead of its 2008 predecessor starring Brendan Fraser.

Denzel Washington came within striking distance of scoring another $100M blockbuster this weekend as his crime thriller Safe House grossed an estimated $11.4M, down 52%, raising the cume to $98.1M for Universal and Relativity.  Smashing nine digits on Saturday was The Vow, which pulled in an estimated $10M for a 57% drop.  The Screen Gems and Spyglass release has upped its sum to $103M making it the second $100M+ grosser for Channing Tatum after 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the fourth for Rachel McAdams, though the first one for her as an anchor.

Faring worse was Nicolas Cage‘s 3D comic sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which tumbled 60% to an estimated $8.8M in its sophomore session.  With $37.8M to date, look for a $50M finish, which would be less than half of the $115.8M of its 2007 predecessor, which did not have 3D surcharges in its total. For those moviegoers wanting to combine the violence of Cage’s film and the romance of Rachel’s pic there was Reese Witherspoon‘s This Means War, which settled into seventh place with an estimated $8.5M. Falling 51% in its second weekend, the 20th Century Fox release has collected $33.6M in ten days and should end up at $50-55M.

After co-starring in two $100M+ grossers last year, the usually reliable Jennifer Aniston suffered one of the worst openings of her career in a lead role of a wide release with the raunchy comedy Wanderlust.  Co-starring Paul Rudd, the R-rated pic bowed to an estimated $6.6M from 2,002 theaters for a weak $3,310 average.  Earning fairly positive reviews, the tale of a married Manhattan couple discovering life on a hippie commune performed exactly like the 2009 couple-makes-radical-lifestyle-change flop Did You Hear About the Morgans? featuring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker.  That film opened to just $6.6M too.  Wanderlust failed to reach the range of Rudd’s recent R-rated comedy projects I Love You, Man and Role Models, which each debuted near the $18M mark.  A bad title for the $30M+ production didn’t help either.  Women made up 57% of the crowd, 61% were 30 and older, and the CinemaScore grade was a disappointing B-.

Also rejected by audiences was Amanda Seyfried’s kidnapping thriller Gone, which debuted to only $5M, according to estimates, from 2,186 locations for a dull $2,287 average.  The Summit release for Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel featured no other major names and Seyfried’s biggest career hits have come from films with big name co-stars so few found it necessary to pay top dollar to see this one in theaters.  Plus the target audience of young females are still enamored by her Dear John co-star Channing Tatum who continues to pull in solid business with The Vow, which did more than twice the business this weekend despite being in its third frame.

Walt Disney‘s Studio Ghibli import The Secret World of Arrietty declined by only 30% in its second round grossing an estimated $4.5M for a $14.7M total after ten days.  A $25-28M final could result.

Audiences continued to catch up on the top Oscar contenders and potential winners.  Frontrunner The Artist added 158 screens and jumped up 23% to an estimated $3M upping the cume to $31.9M.  The Weinstein Co. release stands to benefit in the weeks ahead if it wins the top awards although a black-and-white silent film from French filmmakers will only go so far with mainstream America.  The pic has added $19.8M to its cume since the nominations came out.

Fox Searchlight‘s The Descendants is happy with the fact that it grossed more money between nomination morning and awards night than any other Best Picture candidate.  This weekend saw a 25% drop to an estimated $2.2M for a $78.5M total, $27.2M of which came since it earned its Oscar nods.  Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo added another round of cash to its total over the past month, however it still is far from where a movie with a budget of its size would want to be at towards the end of its domestic run.  The Paramount title slipped 5% to an estimated $1.6M lifting the cume to $69.4M, $13.5M of which came since being nominated.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $109M, which was up 18% from last year when New Line Cinema’s Hall Pass opened in the top spot with $13.5M; and up 5% from 2010 when Paramount Pictures’ Shutter Island remained at number one in its second weekend with $22.7M.

February 24, 2012 to February 26, 2012 Top Ten



1.   Act of Valor

  • $24,700,000
  • a Relativity release
  • Bandito Brothers

2.   Good Deeds

3.   Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

4.   Safe House

  • $11,369,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

5.   The Vow

6.   Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

7.   This Means War

8.   Wanderlust

9.   Gone

  • $5,000,000
  • a Summit release (Lions Gate Entertainment)
  • Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

10. The Secret World of Arrietty

  • $4,503,000
  • a Walt Disney release (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Studio Ghibli

February 25, 2011 to February 27, 2011 Top Ten



1.   Hall Pass

  • $13,500,000
  • New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

2.   Gnomeo & Juliet

3.   Unknown

4.   Just Go With It

5.   I Am Number Four

6.   Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

7.   The King’s Speech

8.   Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

9.   Drive Angry

10. The Roommate

  • $2,050,000
  • Screen Gems (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

February 26, 2010 to February 28, 2010 Top Ten



1.   Shutter Island

  • $22,665,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group)

2.   Cop Out

  • $18,211,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

3.   The Crazies

4.   Avatar

  • $13,655,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group)

5.   Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

6.   Valentine’s Day

  • $9,063,000
  • New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

7.   Dear John

  • $4,808,000
  • Screen Gems (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Relativity Media

8.   The Wolfman

  • $4,260,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

9.   Tooth Fairy

  • $3,425,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group) and Walden Media

10. Crazy Heart

  • $2,462,000
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures (Fox Entertainment Group)








Act ofValor

$ 24,700,000



$ 8,128

$ 24,700,000











Jourey 2: ThMysterious Isand








Warner Bros.


Sfe House










he Vow









Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance










This Means War

























The Secret World of Arrietty










~ by Matt Whitfield on March 1, 2012.

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