Weekend Report: 'Die Hard' Narrowly Wins Presidents Day Weekend

by Ray Subers
A Good Day to Die Hard

February 18, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard opened in first place over Presidents Day weekend, though it was overshadowed to some extent by strong runner-up performances from Safe Haven and Escape From Planet Earth. Meanwhile, Beautiful Creatures was such a huge miss that it could temporarily quell the post-Twilight young adult adaptation craze.

For the four-day holiday weekend, the Top 12 grossed $149.4 million, which is off around 13 percent from the same period last year. Overall, the month of February is on pace to wind up significantly off from last year's record-setting $818.2 million gross.

A Good Day to Die Hard grossed $28.6 million over the four-day period, which ranks 10th all-time among Presidents Day openers. That's a bit underwhelming for a heavily-marketed franchise movie: in comparison, Unknown opened to $25.5 million on Presidents Day 2011, while Safe House tallied $27.5 million over Presidents Day last year (which was the movie's second weekend).

Rolling in its Thursday gross, A Good Day to Die Hard has so far earned $36.9 million, which is noticeably off from Live Free or Die Hard through the same point ($48.4 million). It's safe to say that A Good Day to Die Hard won't match that movie's $134.5 million total, and it could even fall short of $100 million.

Overall, though, this is a decent start for a 25-year-old franchise. Throw in strong overseas figures (where the movie should ultimately wind up near the previous entry's $250 million), and A Good Day to Die Hard is going to be a success for 20th Century Fox.

The movie's audience skewed male (55 percent) and older (65 percent were 25 years of age and up), and they gave it a "B+" CinemaScore (noticeably better than the movie's atrocious 16 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes).

In second place, Identity Thief added $27.5 million over the four-day weekend, which is surprisingly close to Die Hard's first place figure. Through just 11 days in theaters, the Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy has brought in $74.7 million, which makes it the highest-grossing 2013 movie so far. It's also on pace to be the first 2013 movie to pass $100 million, and could wind up being the only movie from January or February to hit that mark.

Safe Haven had a great $24.5 million four-day start this weekend; add in its strong Valentine's Day performance and the Nicholas Sparks adaptation is already at $33.3 million. That five-day figure is about on par with Dear John ($34.5 million), which is one of the most successful Sparks adaptations to date. This is a huge win for Relativity Media, who secured a fantastic release date and then executed a strong marketing effort straight from the Nicholas Sparks playbook. Unsurprisingly, the audience was 71 percent female and 68 percent under the age of 25, and they awarded the movie a solid "B+" CinemaScore (compared to just 12 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).

Even without much of a marketing push, The Weinstein Company's Escape from Planet Earth managed to open to a very solid $21.1 million through Monday. That's significantly up on similar movie Planet 51, which earned $12.3 million in its first three days in 2009. However, it's a bit off from Gnomeo and Juliet, a fellow B-level animated effort that opened to $25.4 million in February 2011.

Escape from Planet Earth's good debut is due simply to a big scheduling win for the Weinstein Company: somehow, it's the first movie of 2013 that's rated G or PG, and as a result it was literally the only option for most family audiences this weekend.

Warm Bodies rounded out the Top Five this weekend with an estimated $10.6 million four-day gross. The zombie romance is holding extremely well right now, and with $51.8 million in the bank so far there's a definite chance it winds up close to $70 million by the end of its run.

In sixth place, young adult fantasy adaptation Beautiful Creatures bombed with just $8.95 million this weekend ($11.5 million including Thursday). In comparison, The Spiderwick Chronicles did $24.7 million on this weekend in 2008, while I Am Number Four earned $22.8 million at the same time in 2011. Clearly, the book series' fan base wasn't as large as expected, and other potential audience members were more interested in Safe Haven this weekend. Those who did show up were 67 percent female and 57 percent under the age of 25, and they gave the movie a "B" CinemaScore.

Side Effects added $7.3 million over the four-day weekend for a new total of $20.1 million. While that's not a great figure, it is at least higher than the final tally for director Steven Soderbergh's early 2012 flop Haywire ($18.9 million).

On Monday, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey joined the three Lord of the Rings movies in the $300 million club; also, after starting slow in November and December, Silver Linings Playbook will finally reach $100 million on Tuesday.

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This Weekend's Forecast:
Forecast: Fifth 'Die Hard' Should Blow Up Presidents Weekend

This Weekend in Past Years:
2012 - 'Safe House' Secures Presidents Day Lead

2011 - 'Unknown' Takes Top Spot, 'Number Four' Is Number Three
2010 - 'Valentine's Day' Massacres Presidents' Day Record
2009 - 'Friday the 13th' Hacks Up Top Spot
2008 - 'Jumper' Teleports to the Top

2007 - 'Ghost Rider' Blazes in Debut
2006 - 'Eight Below' Enjoys Warm Reception
2005 - 'Constantine' Smokes in Debut

Related Charts
4-Day Weekend Box Office Results
3-Day Weekend Box Office Results
All-Time Domestic

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1/17 'Glass' Ready to Crack Open a $50+ Million Holiday Debut
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1/6 'Aquaman' Tops $940 Million Worldwide; Sony's 'Escape Room' Unlocks $18M Debut
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WEEKEND: 4-Day Weekend Actuals, 'Glass' #1
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Glass' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Glass' #1
WEEKLY: 'The Upside' Tops the Week with $28.3m
DAILY: Thursday 1/17, (42 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 1/16 (34 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 1/15 (34 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 1/7 (33 tracked)