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Chris Pine/Reese Witherspoon’s THIS MEANS WAR, Nicolas Cage’s GHOST RIDER Weak Box-Office Performers

Chris Pine This Means War Reese Witherspoon Tom Hardy
Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy in This Means War

Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, The Vow, box office, Michael Sucsy

Trailing Act of Valor, Good Deeds, and The Vow at the domestic box office on Friday, at no. 4 Brad Peyton’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island added $3.2 million, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The 3D action-adventure tale, which is performing exceedingly well overseas, features Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Next in line at no. 5 was the Denzel Washington / Ryan Reynolds actioner Safe House, with $3.1 million. Depending on how The Vow, Journey 2, and Safe House perform on the weekend proper — as a kiddie flick, Journey 2 has the edge — there could be some switching around when final weekend figures are released on Monday. Safe House topped the U.S. and Canada box office chart last weekend.

At. no. 6 was This Means War, a box office disappointment starring Water for Elephants’ Reese Witherspoon, The Dark Knight Rises’ Tom Hardy, and Star Trek’s Chris Pine. The action-comedy scored an estimated $2.75m. After eight days, it has yet to reach $30m domestically.

As mentioned in a previous post, Reese Witherspoon hasn’t had a personal domestic hit since Seth Gordon’s Four Christmas, co-starring Vince Vaughn, four years ago. (Obviously I’m not including the highly successful animated feature Monsters vs. Aliens.) Her pairing with Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants scored $117 million worldwide, at least in part because of Pattinson’s large international fan base.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was Nicolas Cage’s latest domestic flop. Although Spirit of Vengeance has passed the $30m mark, it has done so by a very small margin despite costlier 3D ticket prices: its estimated total is $31.38 million after adding $2.35 million on Friday.

The Ghost Rider sequel will have trouble matching its $57 million budget in North America — let alone recovering it. As mentioned before on this site, that’s not good news for Cage, who has starred in a series of flops of late. The last Nicolas Cage movie to gross over $100 million in the U.S. and Canada was National Treasure: Book of Secrets, a blockbuster that took in $219.96 million in late ’07/early ’08.

The original Ghost Rider drew $115.8 million in early 2007. Spirit of Vengeance will be quite lucky if it reaches half that amount. That isn’t exactly good news for Sony Pictures, which banked with partner Hyde Park Entertainment the sequel’s reported $75-$80m production budget — not including marketing/distribution expenses.

Apart from Book of Secrets and the original Ghost Rider, in the last five years the only Cage movies to have brought in more than $50 million in the U.S. and Canada were Alex Proyas’ 2009 paranormal thriller Knowing with $79.95 million and Jon Turteltaub’s Disney-released 2010 fantasy The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, co-starring Jay Baruchel, with $63.15 million.

This Means War photo: Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox.

Continue Reading: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried Bomb: Box Office

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