Four of the top five spots at last weekend’s box office went to new releases, all of which broke the $20 million threshold, the first time since December 2008 four movies have debuted with such strong numbers. At the top of the pack was the romantic drama The Vow, which cost an estimated $30 million to make and pulled in a (much)-higher-than-expected opening weekend gross of $41.7 million. Coming in a close second was the crime thriller Safe House, which earned $39.3 million over the weekend, while the $27.5 million haul of family-friendly film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was enough to land it in spot number three. The 3-D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (weekend gross $23 million) took the number four spot, and Chronicle, last weekend’s number one film, rounded out the top five with a weekend gross of $12.3 million (total gross $40.1 million).
Out in theaters in limited release were Rampart ($65,109), In Darkness ($27,563), Chico & Rita ($21,400 on only one screen) and Return ($13,800).
Out in wide release next weekend are Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and This Means War, the latter of which is having a “Special Valentine’s Day Showing” on Tuesday (Valentine’s Day, natch) before it opens in theaters nationwide on Friday. Limited releases will include Michael, All Things Fall Apart, Cirkus Columbia, The Secret World of Arrietty, Putin’s Kiss, On the Ice and Thin Ice (unrelated), as well as Oscar nominees Bullhead (Best Foreign Language Film) and Undefeated (Best Documentary).