Relativity Media's Safe Haven, pairing Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, edged past the Bruce Willis sequel A Good Day to Die Hard to narrowly win the Valentine's Day box-office race as romance prevailed over action.
Safe Haven, the latest Nicholas Sparks film adaptation, debuted to roughly $9 million on Thursday, while 20th Century Fox's Die Hard took in $8.3 million, including $840,000 in Wednesday midnight runs. Both films received a B+ CinemaScore from moviegoers, in contrast to largely negative reviews.
The third new Valentine's Day nationwide release was romantic fantasy Beautiful Creatures, based on the first book in the YA Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The movie, from Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., debuted to a soft $2.5 million.
Die Hard 5 is widely expected to pull ahead with Valentine's Day out of the way and top the long Presidents Day weekend with a solid five-day debut in the $45 range.
Based on its better-than-expected Valentine's Day showing, Safe Haven is now expected to outperform predictions and open in the $25 million to $30 million range. Beautiful Creatures will likely open in the $15 million to $18 million range, a lower showing than usual for a YA property.
One issue for Safe Haven and Beautiful Creatures, which received a B CinemaScore, are both competing for females.
Die Hard 5, directed by John Moore and co-starring Jai Courtney, takes the iconic action hero John McClane to Moscow to rescue his son (Courtney), a CIA operative played who's in some nasty trouble. The film is rated PG-13, while the last Die Hard title, released in 2007, was rated R.
Safe Haven 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).
Directed and scripted by Richard LaGravenese, Beautiful Creatures stars Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich. The story revolves around Lena Duchannes (Englert), whose special powers has 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.
Entering the fray on Friday is The Weinstein Co.'s 3D animated pic Escape from Planet Earth, which is tracking to open in the $18 million range.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Josh Duhamel
- Julianne Hough