Hollywood had a record weekend at the U.S. box office during the past few days, with the comedy Valentine’s Day bringing in a startling $66.9 million over the four-day President’s Day period. Over just the three days of the actual weekend it snagged $56.4 million, all in the film’s first week of release.
Directed by Hollywood comedy veteran Garry Marshall and featuring several popular or semi-popular stars, an obvious concept people can relate to, the promise of some laughs and emotional manipulation, and a tsunami of commercials, the film was pretty much guaranteed to be both awful and a hit with audiences who have already seen Couple’s Retreat numerous times on DVD or DVR.
Also opening strong were the mythological adventure Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which finished second with a healthy $33.8 million, and The Wolfman, at $36.5 million.
Yesterday alone, Valentine’s Day brought in $23.5 million to become the highest-grossing film ever on Valentine’s Day, which should hardly be much of a surprise. One would expect a film called Arbor Day to be the biggest Arbor Day grosser if it has as many stars as Valentine’s.
Action films From Paris with Love (John Travolta) and Edge of Darkness (Mel Gibson) were pushed down to 7th and 8th, respectively, but are still doing fairly well. (The Gibson film in particular is quite good, so we should hope that it will continue its steady if limited audience draw.) The fantasy comedy comedy The Tooth Fairy (starring the Rock) likewise fell, to 6th, and appears to be losing steam rapidly.
Those who couldn’t shove their way into jam-packed showings of Valentine’s Day apparently decided to take another look at Avatar or try the country-music-themed drama Crazy Heart, undoubtedly drawn to the latter by its good reviews and impressive cast (Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhall, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, etc.). The two films actually sold more tickets than the week before, finishing 4th and 9th, respectively.