Box Office Prognosis: The Vow Beats Denzel Washington, The Rock, AND Jar Jar Binks

 Yup…after like a two month hiatus, the Box Office Prognosis has made its grand return! Well we have a lot of new things planned for this column, for now, we’ll stick to the basics: the weekend box office!

Honestly, this weekend was huge surprise for me. I really expected Safe House to take first place, with maybe Journey 2 and then The Vow following it. But instead, we got the complete opposite. The Vow opened pretty damn huge with a $41.7 million dollar take. Not only was this enough to top the weekend, but it’s also the highest opening of the year so far. Yes, the Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum chick flick is the highest grossing film of the year.

Obviously, there’s a ton of reasons for that. Valentine’s Day is the biggest one, however. As the holiday quickly approaches, couples everywhere are looking for a nice little romantic film to celebrate their love and union and all that other crap couples care about. The Vow is the first legitimate romance film since One Day last AUGUST (yeah, the first one in over 6 months.) Add in the romantic pairing of Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams and you have a surefire hit. And with a mere $30 million, a 41 million dollar gross is pretty damn good indeed.

Safe House Box office

Also opening well was the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds actioneer Safe House. The spy thriller grossed an estimated $39.3 million for the weekend, which clocked in as Denzel’s second highest debut ever, behind 2007’s American Gangster, which opened to about $43.6 million. Ryan Reynolds must certainly be happy, though. After Green Lantern and The Change Up effectively bombed, Safe House’s stellar $39 million is a bright spot in Reynold’s slowly dwindling career.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was a solid performer as well this weekend, netting an estimated $27.55 million at approximately 3,470 locations.  This is actually quite impressive, considering that the original grossed $21 million it’s opening weekend in July 2008.  This is most likely due to the sudden popularity of 3D films since 2008, and the fact that The Rock is probably a greater draw than Brendan Fraser ever was.  Journey 2 will likely have legs throughout the month too, on account of very little competetion within the family crowd until March’s The Lorax.

ThePhantomMenace3D 

Star Wars still has legs, apparently. The 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace grossed about $23 million dollars for the weekend, which is pretty good considering that the film is easily the most reviled of all the Star Wars films, and the fact that almost anyone could easily see the film right at the comfort of their home.  Still, I guess the idea of Darth Maul slicing Jedi in half IN 3D was to tantalizing for most audiences.  I, on the other hand, am content with just never acknowleding this film’s existence.  Really, it’s better that way.

Rounding out the top 10 was Chronicle, last week’s big winner and the most recent in a string of successful found footage films.  The film grossed $12 million for the weekend, which might seem like a sizeable drop from the film’s opening weekend of $22 million, but is actually typical of this genre.  And with a budget of EXACTLY $12 million, I doubt Fox is complaining anyways.  At the seventh spot is The Woman in Black with about $10 million dollars, which is pretty good for a horror movie in its second week out.  Finally, The Grey managed to scrounge up the 8th position, with a sum of about $5 million dollars.  This may seem strange considering the film’s only three weeks out, but if you’ve seen The Grey, you might understand the sudden disconnect of audiences.  They were buying into a film that was CLEARLY not what was marketed.  Still, with almost $50 million in the bank with a budget of $25 million, I doubt the studio has much to complain about.

The Gray

Anyways, here’s the chart:

1. The Vow—$41,700,000

2. Safe House—$39,330,590

3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island—$27,550,000

4. Star Wars: Episode I – Phantom Menace—$23,000,000

5. Chronicle—$12,300,000

6. The Woman in Black—$10,300,000

7. The Grey—$5,080,000

8. Big Miracle—$3,860,730

9. The Descendants —$3,500,000

10. Underworld Awakening—$2,500,000


Overall, I guess you could say the box office was pretty on the ball this week, with a top 10 total of $190 million over the three day period. Hopefully, the rest of February will be able to ride this high.

-Matthew