Box Office Preview: Bruce Willis' 'Die Hard 5' Eyeing Big Holiday Win

Pamela McClintock
The Hollywood Reporter
Box Office Report: 'Die Hard' Rebounds With $25 Mil, Edges Out 'Identity Thief,' 'Safe Haven'

The combination of Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend has Hollywood swooning as four new films enter the marketplace, hoping to entice action fans, sweethearts and families.

If pre-release tracking is any indication, the big winner looks to be Bruce Willis starrer A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment in the classic franchise that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Directed by John Moore and co-starring Jai Courtney, the 20th Century Fox film should gross $40 million-plus for the Thursday-Monday stretch.

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Romantic drama Safe Haven, the latest film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and romantic fantasy Beautiful Creatures are both tracking to post a five-day opening in the $20 million to $25 million range as they are forced to compete for female attention.

The trio of films open Thursday, hoping to lure couples celebrating Valentine’s Day. Animated pic Escape From Planet Earth enters the fray on Friday as the long President’s Day weekend gets underway, and is tracking to post a four-day opening of $18 million. (On Valentine’s Day itself, Safe Haven could give A Good Day to Die Hard a run for its money.)

It’s no longer unusual for three or four films to open in this same corridor; the combo of the two holidays can pack a one-two-punch.

A Good Day to Die Hard is tracking well among males of all ages – and among older females, potentially meaning more trouble for Alcon Entertainment’s Beautiful Creatures and Relativity’s Safe Haven.

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In this outing, the iconic action hero John McClane travels to Moscow to rescue his son, a C.I.A. operative played by Jai Courtney, who in some nasty trouble.

The four previous Die Hard movies grossed $1.13 billion at the worldwide box office, and fans don’t show signs of being fatigued, even though recent action pics The Last Stand, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bullet to the Head, starring Sylvester Stallone, bombed.

Live Free or Die Hard, the last installment, grossed $383.5 million globally in 2007, a franchise best, not accounting for inflation. That pic was rated R, while A Good Day to Die Hard is rated PG-13 in order to cast a wider net.

Safe Haven is directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Julianne Hough as a young woman who returns to her hometown only to gripped by a dark secret from her past, even as she falls for a stranger, played by played by Josh Duhamel.

Directed by Richard LaGravenese, Beautiful Creatures is the latest film property to be based on a young adult book series. Beautiful Creatures, written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, stars Alice Ehrenreich and Alden Englert and is being distributed by Warner Bros. via its deal with Alcon. Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis also star.

The movie revolves around Lena Duchannes, whose special powers has long kept her separated from others. Moving to a new town, she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate, but their budding relationship is threatened by an ancient battle between good and evil.

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From The Weinstein Co., Escape From Planet Earth is the first theatrical feature from Rainmaker Entertainment with a voice cast led by Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry and Sarah Jessica Parker. William Shatner plays the evil alien Shanker, who is threatening the planet Baab.

Opening at the specialty box office on Friday is the Oscar nominated Chilean film No, which is up for best foreign language film. Directed by Pablo Larrain, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a successful advertising executive working in Chile in the late 1980s. He’s part of the team that’s creating material encouraging the public not to elect longtime dictator General Augusto Pinochet in the first public election in 15 years.