Bruce Willis’ John McClane has destroyed German dictators, faceless cyber-terrorists, and, most recently, trigger-happy Russians. But the action icon has never had to face anyone like Julianne Hough in Safe Haven — a weepy woman with windswept hair falling in love in the Outer Banks Nicholas Sparks-style. She, in fact, may be the most difficult adversary he’s ever tried to handle.
Over the past two days at the box office, Safe Haven at $16 million has slightly outgrossed A Good Day to Die Hard’s $15.5 million. The $28 million Relativity romance topped the chart on Valentine’s Day with $8.8 million, while Fox’s fifth Die Hard, which was financed for $92 million, earned $8.2 million. On Friday, the two films swapped places, though they each earned about $7.2 million, putting them each on pace for $27 million four-day weekends and about $35 million after five days. For Safe Haven, that’s a great start. For Die Hard, though, that’s well below expectations. It’s been a difficult winter for male-driven action.
In third place on Friday was last weekend’s champ, Identity Thief, which scored another $6.1 million, bringing its total to $53.4 million after eight days. The Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman vehicle could finish the four-day weekend with as much as $27 million, and it may even steal the top spot from Die Hard or Safe Haven. It’s going to be close.
Weinstein’s Escape from Planet Earth performed solidly on Friday, grossing $3.7 million from 3,288 theaters. Thanks to a family-fueled bump on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Escape is on track for a not-half-bad $19 million over four days. The PG-rated film (the first family option of 2013) cost $40 million.
Not so fortunate was the weekend’s final newcomer, Beautiful Creatures, which tanked in its first two days in theaters. On Valentine’s Day, Beautiful Creatures earned a lackluster $2.5 million, and on Friday it fell 9 percent to $2.3 million. The Warner Bros.-distributed film cost $60 million. Meanwhile, fellow YA adaptation Warm Bodies, now in its third weekend, added $2.6 million on Friday, setting it up for $11 million over four days, which will send its total past the $50 million mark.
Grosses for Friday, Feb. 15:
1. A Good Day to Die Hard – $7.2 million
2. Safe Haven – $7.2 million
3. Identity Thief – $6.1 million
4. Escape from Planet Earth – $3.7 million
5. Warm Bodies – $2.6 million
6. Beautiful Creatures – $2.3 million
Check back tomorrow for continued box office coverage, and follow me on Twitter for extra box office musing and updates.