Propaganda Profitable as Valor Rules Oscar Weekend
By John Hamann
February 26, 2012
It was a close race for third between some of the heavies over the last couple of weekends. Surprisingly, third goes to a film that has never been number one like both Safe House and The Vow. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, floats ahead of both former number ones. In its third weekend, Journey 2 earned $13.5 million, and is turning into a very large success for Warner Bros. While it fell 32% compared to last frame, let's remember that last weekend was a long weekend, which means the kids are more available to see a movie on Sunday, which can lead to bigger drops the following weekend.
When Journey 2 first came out, I wondered if enough people were on the ball enough to figure out this was a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth, the 2008 release starring Brendan Fraser. Now, after a few weekends of release, this one is playing more like an original film, than a sequel. Journey 2 opened to $27.3 million three weekends ago, and I thought it would disappear quick. Last weekend, I thought Ghost Rider 2 might kill it, but it fell only 27% compared to the opening, and only 5% when including the holiday. Journey 2 cost Warner Bros. $80 million to make, and has now grossed $76.7 million stateside, along with $128 million from foreign shores as of last weekend.
Fourth spot goes to Safe House, Denzel Washington's thriller that opened at number two, and then rose to number one last weekend, getting ahead of The Vow. This weekend, Safe House grossed $11.4 million, and dropped a hefty 52% compared to last weekend's extended frame. Next weekend, Safe House will be a $100 million domestic earner – Washington's first since 2007's American Gangster. So far, Safe House has grossed $98.1 million against a budget of about $85 million.
Fifth is The Vow, as it expectedly falls from second to fifth. The Vow, also in its third weekend, earned $10 million and fell a hurtful 57%. While the drop and the rank hurt, The Vow is the first of three three-weekend old releases (Journey 2 and Safe House being the others) to cross the domestic $100 million mark. The Vow can thank that $11.5 million Valentine's Day it had, as that is about the difference between The Vow and Safe House. Despite numerous successes, The Vow becomes Screen Gems' first $100 million film, as it has now earned $103 million against a budget of only $30 million.
Sixth is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, as it falls apart following last weekend where it earned $22.1 million over three days. This weekend, with the fanboys already exposed, Ghost Rider 2 earned only $8.8 million, and dropped a dramatic 60%. This really is no surprise for a film that is 14% fresh, and a sequel to one of the really bad films of our generation. According to Sony, Ghost Rider 2 had a budget of $57 million, and has a gross so far of $37.8 million. This frightfully bad movie may make it to $50 million.