Bruce Willis' A Good Day to Die Hard succeeded in winning Presidents Day weekend, but it still came in well below expectations.
Die Hard, from 20th Century Fox, grossed $29.3 million for the four-day holiday frame, putting its five-day debut at $37.5 million, versus the $40 million to $45 million that tracking services had predicted. The action pic is faring much better overseas, where it's now earned north of $80 million.
Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman's R-rated comedy Identity Thief wasn't far behind Die Hard in North America and remained a potent competitor in its second outing, grossing $27.9 million for an 11-day domestic total of $75.1 million (the comedy has earned nearly $75 million internationally).
The Nicholas Sparks film adaptation Safe Haven, opening opposite Die Hard on Valentine's Day, took in $25.2 million over Presidents Day weekend for a stellar five-day debut of $34 million -- $10 million more than expected. From Relativity Media, Safe Haven came in No. 3.
Animated 3D family entry Escape From Planet Earth, opening Friday, grossed a solid $21 million to come in No. 4 for The Weinstein Co.
Beautiful Creatures, based on the popular YA book series, failed to find much of a foothold in its debut. The Alcon movie grossed $8.9 million over Presidents Day for a five-day debut of $11.5 million. The movie lost younger females to Safe Haven, as well as to fellow YA film adaptation Warm Bodies, which placed No. 5 with $10.3 million for a total $51.5 million.
On the Fox lot, there's sure to be plenty of conversation as to why Die Hard fell short of expectations domestically. Dismal reviews likely hurt the film, since the franchise's fan base is older and more influenced by a critic's opinion (65 percent of the audience was over the age of 25). Those who did turn out gave the film a solid B+ CinemaScore, however.
Another hindrance could have been the film's R rating. Live Free or Die Hard, which reinvigorated the franchise in 2007 after opening to $48.4 million, was rated PG-13.
In A Good Day to Die Hard, Willis' McClane travels to Moscow to rescue his son (Jai Courtney), a CIA operative who's in some nasty trouble.
IMAX theaters contributed more than $4.3 million of the total domestic gross and $8.3 million worldwide.
Fueled by younger female moviegoers, Safe Haven received even worse notices than Die Hard but is more review-proof. The romantic drama also drew a B+ CinemaScore. More than 70 percent of those buying tickets were females, while 68 percent of the total audience was under the age of 25.
Pairing Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, Safe Haven was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Hough as a young woman who returns to her hometown only to be gripped by a dark secret from her past, even as she falls for a stranger (Duhamel).
Escape From Planet Earth is the first theatrical feature from Rainmaker Entertainment. Its voice cast is led by Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry and Sarah Jessica Parker. William Shatner plays the evil alien Shanker.
Directed and scripted by Richard LaGravenese, Beautiful Creatures is the latest film property to be based on a young adult book series. The film stars Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich and is being distributed by Warner Bros. via its deal with Alcon. Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis also star in the film based on the first book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
The movie centers on Lena Duchannes (Englert), whose special powers have long kept her separated from others. Moving to a new town, she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate (Ehrenreich), but their budding relationship is threatened by an ancient battle between good and evil.
Among holdovers, Oscar contender Silver Linings will cross the $100 million mark on Monday in a victory for Harvey Weinstein and his team.
At the specialty box office, Gael Garcia Bernal's No opened to a notable $94,742 from four theaters for a location average of $23,686. The Chilean film, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S., is a contender for the best foreign-language film Oscar.
Below are estimates for the four-day Presidents Day weekend at the domestic box office.
Title, Weeks in release/theater count, studio, four-day weekend total, cume (*denotes Oscar best picture nominee)
1. A Good Day to Die Hard, 1/3,553, Fox, $29.3 million, $37.5 million
2. Identity Thief, 1/3,141, Universal, $27.9 million, $75.1 million
3. Safe Haven, 1/3,223, Relativity, $25.2 million, $34 million
4. Escape From Planet Earth, 1/3,288, The Weinstein Co, $21 million
5. Warm Bodies, 3/2,897, Summit, $10.3 million, $51.5 million
6. Beautiful Creatures, 1/2,950, Warner Bros., $8.9 million, $11.5 million
7. Side Effects, 2/2,605, Open Road, $7.8 million, $20.6 million
8. *Silver Linings Playbook, 14/2,202, The Weinstein Co., $7.6 million, $100 million
9. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, 4/2,103, Paramount/MGM, $4.2 million, $50.4 million
10. *Zero Dark Thirty, 9/1,522, Sony/Annapurna, $3.6 million, $88.5 million