Three new wide releases face strong holdovers during the President’s Day holiday weekend. Nicolas Cage [NCAGE] looks to bounce back from a string of recent flops by reprising his role as the demonic antihero in the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance [GHST2]. The original Ghost Rider debuted at $45.4 million in 2007, but flamed out quickly due to poor word of mouth. As in their other genre series, Sony has added 3D to entice fans back for another go-around. The PG-13 rated film should connect with its target audience of young men, which should be enough to propel the film to first place. Burning up 3174 theaters, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance could scorch $34 million over the 4-day weekend.
Safe House [SAFEH] exceeded expectations in its debut and older moviegoers should continue to support the film. The actioner could preside over another $27 million over the long weekend.
Couples and women helped The Vow [THVOW] conquered the box office last weekend. With Valentine’s Day over, the romance looks to decay greater than Safe House to around $26 million over the holiday weekend.
The PG-13 rated This Means War [TMWAR] stars Chris Pine [CPINE] and Tom Hardy [THARD] as partners in espionage competing to win the affection of the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon [RWITH]. Fox has been marketing the film as a romantic comedy when perhaps they should have gone with action bromance. The McG [MCG] directed film has earned horrible reviews and terrible trackings. Opening in 3189 theater, This Means War may bank $23 million over the 4-day weekend.
With kids off for the long holiday weekend, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island [MYSTR] should experience a small drop-off. The 3D sequel spectacle could bring home another $22 million from Friday to Monday.
The Secret World of Arrietty [ARITY] is the latest Studio Ghibli release from Disney. The G-rated animated film looks more accessible than 2009’s Ponyo which managed just a $3.6 million debut. Opening in 1511 theaters, Arrietty could stash $6 million over the long holiday weeekend.
That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.
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