Far from ending 2012’s winning streak, this weekend is on track to become the biggest February frame of all time as each of Hollywood’s three new releases outstrip their financial forecasts by astonishing margins. Meanwhile, the 3D reissue of The Phantom Menace did not embarrass itself on Friday but it didn’t blow away early expectations either. Details after the jump.
|3||Phantom Menace 3D||$8,700,000||$8.7|
Tracking indicated that Screen Gems/Sony’s The Vow would come out on top, but few foresaw the huge numbers attending this romantic drama. From 2,958 locations, The Vow earned an estimated $15.4 million on Friday on its way to a three-day total of almost $40 million. A debut like that is almost unheard of for a February release and this weekend we get two of them.
Universal’s Safe House is also expected to earn over $35 million by Sunday or 40% more than early projections for the Denzel Washington action-thriller. Wrapping up the newcomers, Warner Brothers’ Journey 2: Mysterious Island may have come in fourth for Friday but its earnings point to a three-day take of more than $20 million instead of the low teens that was expected. The only film not smashing expectations this weekend is the 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace; but, to be fair, that’s because the expectation-bar is set pretty high for anything Star Wars. From 2,655 locations, Episode One 3D earned an estimated $8.7 million on Friday, including $1.1 million in midnight grosses. That means a weekend of approximately $24.5 million or precisely the amount that Fox and Lucasfilm projected.
Details and analysis tomorrow.