Although it was well expected that "Valentine's Day" would claim the top spot at the Box Office this weekend, it shattered all expectations by taking in $52 million domestically. The opening weekend figure equals the cost of its budget (something few films do opening weekend, though "Dear John" did last week). Making the feat more impressive, the film earned roughly twice what "He's Just Not That Into You" did in its opening weekend of February of last year.
"Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lighting Thief" came in a distant second place with $31 million. While that's a fraction of what a Harry Potter film makes opening weekend, this film was made at a fraction of the cost, and is in a good place to quickly recoup the $95 million dollar investment made by Fox.
"The Wolfman" followed closely behind with $30 million. Although that's an impressive debut for an R-rated horror film (especially one not part of a current franchise a la "Saw"), it's a small fraction of Universal's $150 million dollar investment. Although foreign grosses are not currently available for the other two new films this weekend, it's been released that "The Wolfman" has taken $50 million worldwide, leaving hope that it could turn a profit before the end of it's worldwide theatrical run.
Rounding out the top five, in a reversal from last week is "Avatar" which made $22 million to bring its domestic total to $659 million, followed by "Dear John" which made $15 million to bring its domestic total to $53 million, twice it's $25 million dollar budget.
Winning the per-theater-average race for the week is "My Name is Khan" which sounds like last year's film "Adam" but with a Muslim cast. Needless to say, this film takes on a different dimension being about Muslims in a post-9/11/ America. Fox Searchlight opened the film in similar markets they opened "Slumdog Millionaire" in, and made $15,500 a screen for a total of over $1.8 million.
This being Valentine's day weekend, as well as a long holiday weekend and the middle of Oscar season, audiences were offered a variety of choices at the movies. Did you go for more commercial fare or finally catch up on "Precious"? Please let us know in the comments below, and continue to have a wonderful holiday weekend at the movies.