It seems that every week of 2010 has brought us a new record-breaker at the box office. Last week the romantic drama Dear John became the top earner on a Super Bowl weekend. Only slightly more impressive was the month-long reign of Avatar during which the 3D titan took down nearly every all-time box office category Hollywood could throw at it. This weekend saw yet another record fall. Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall’s star-packed romantic comedy, has already become the highest grossing film over President’s Day weekend – before Monday’s numbers have even been counted.
|7||From Paris w/Love||$4,740,000||$15.8|
|8||Edge of Darkness||$4,585,000||$36|
|10||When in Rome||$3,429,000||$26|
The previous record-holder for a President’s Day weekend was 2007’s Ghost Rider, which earned just over $52 million over the extended four day period. With Valentine’s Day already posting an estimated gross of $52.4 million from its 3,665 theatres, Ghost Rider has been left in the dust.
Valentine’s Day may have snagged the top spot this holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean that Hollywood’s other new releases were completely out-classed. Both Fox’s fantasy adventure Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Universal’s reboot of The Wolfman posted strong three day debuts.
Percy Jackson, director Chris Columbus’s attempt to recreate his Harry Potter success, came in second with $31.1 million from its 3,356 theatres. Universal was not far behind with their restyled The Wolfman. From 3,222 theatres the wolf brought in $30.6 million, on its way to a projected four day total of over $35 million.
None of this week’s new releases has been particularly well-received. Percy Jackson has fared the best on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 48%. At just 29% The Wolfman is a critical disappointment, though that score must seem like a rave review next to Valentine’s Day abysmal 15%. Critics aside, the combined takes of this weekend’s top five will make this the most profitable President’s Day of all-time. And thus another record bites the dust.
Speaking of records, just because Avatar has fallen to fourth place domestically doesn’t mean that it is through racking up the accomplishments. Earlier this week the film became the all-time box office champ in several more international markets, including the UK where it surpassed the £69 million record set by Mamma Mia! (no joke) back in 2008. Here at home, Avatar is still a powerhouse. Its latest weekend take of $22 million represents a decline of only 3% in seven days. And for those keeping count, this is the ninth weekend since Avatar launched.
The President’s Day holiday extends into Monday so these estimates represent only 3/4ths of the eventual earnings at the box office. Fianl results will be released on Monday. Next week gives us the release of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Is there a box office record-breaking debut in that film’s future? Stay tuned.