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'The Vow' Biggest Rachel McAdams Hit & Nicolas Cage Flops Again

The Vow Rachel McAdams Channing Tatum
Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, The Vow

March 3, '12, update: According to Box Office Mojo, February 2012 was the best month of February in terms of movie attendance since 2004. On North American screens in February '04 were Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, the Ben Stiller / Jennifer Aniston comedy Along Came Polly, the Adam Sandler / Drew Barrymore romantic comedy 50 First Dates, and the Ice Cube vehicle Barbershop 2: Back in Business.

February 2012's high grosses were basically a result of the success of only three movies: the Rachel McAdams / Channing Tatum romantic drama The Vow, the Ryan Reynolds / Denzel Washington actioner Safe House, and the Josh Hutcherson / Vanessa Hudgens / Dwayne Johnson adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. The first two have grossed more than $100 million domestically; the third one has just surpassed the $80 million mark. Providing some assistance were the surprise minor hit Chronicle and Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Harry Potter movie, The Woman in Black.

Box-office disappointments or outright bombs include the Reese Witherspoon / Chris Pine / Tom Hardy comedy-actioner This Means War, the Amanda Seyfried thriller Gone, the Jennifer Aniston / Paul Rudd comedy Wanderlust (quite a way behind Along Came Polly), Tyler Perry's Good Deeds, and the costly Nicolas Cage actioner Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. In addition, the 3D rerelease of George Lucas' The Phantom Menace was another major disappointment despite the Lucas brand, and the presence of Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and early 2011 Best Actress Oscar winner Natalie Portman.

At Box Office Mojo, Ray Subers adds that January and February 2012 domestic box office grosses are up 16 percent compared to 2011. However, they're down 9 percent and 8 percent in relation to 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Channing Tatum / Rachel McAdams / The Vow photo: Kerry Hayes / Screen Gems

Feb. 20

Rachel McAdams Channing Tatum The Vow
Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, The Vow

Ryan Reynolds Denzel Washington Safe House
Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Safe House

At no. 1, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds action movie Safe House took in $28.4 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates. Safe House has grossed nearly $82.6 million after 11 days. That's not bad at all, except for the fact that the Universal release cost a reported $85 million, not including marketing/distribution expenses.

In other words, Safe House will turn a profit – at the box office (prior to ancillary sales) – only if it performs just as well overseas. Remember, studios keep about 50-55 percent of a film's domestic gross and about 40 percent of international grosses.

So far, however, not so good. After ten days, Safe House has pulled in only $19.6 million abroad, including top territories such as Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Australia. The film opens in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom later this week.

Though considered a major box office draw in the United States, within the last decade only one Denzel Washington movie has earned more than $100 million in North America (including Canada). That was Ridley Scott's American Gangster, co-starring Russell Crowe, which took in $130.16 million in late 2007. If inflation is taken into account, Washington has only one more over-$100 million hit since 2002: Spike Lee's heist thriller Inside Man (with about $107 million), which came out in 2006.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Safe House also features Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, and Rubén Blades.

Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds/Safe House picture: Universal Pictures.

Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, Michael Sucsy's romantic drama The Vow continues to perform quite well at the domestic box office, collecting $26.6 million (slightly less than early estimates indicated) in the U.S. and Canada this extended Presidents Day weekend, as per studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Though generally dismissed by critics – The Vow has a lowly 26 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – the Tatum-McAdams movie has already collected $88.52 million domestically.

Following box office estimates for Friday, The Vow was expected to top Presidents Day weekend. But after surging on the weekend proper, the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds action-thriller Safe House turned out to be the weekend's no. 1 movie if studio estimates are correct.

Domestically, The Vow may become Rachel McAdams' biggest personal box office hit (not including Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes movies). It's clearly ahead of The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) and Red Eye (2005), and without adjusting for inflation, The Vow has already surpassed the total take of both Mean Girls (2004) and The Notebook (2004). In number of ticket of sales, however, the two earlier releases are still ahead. (That's the reason why comparative box office figures have any value only after they're adjusted for inflation.)

Overseas, audiences don't seem all that enthusiastic about love and amnesia stories, as The Vow has pulled in a relatively modest $22.8 million abroad after nearly two weeks, including major territories such as Australia, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. In fact, The Vow may end up following the pattern of McAdams' previous romantic box office hit, The Notebook. Nick Cassavetes' melodrama about love and memory loss co-starring Ryan Gosling, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands, generated $81 million in grosses in North America – but a mere $34.6 million elsewhere.

American Horror Story's two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange (Tootsie, Blue Sky) and The Piano's Sam Neill are also featured in The Vow. Even taking marketing/distribution expenses into account, this early 2012 domestic sleeper hit – budgeted at a relatively modest $30 million – is in all likelihood either already in the black or very close to that. In that regard, The Vow has been a much better investment for Sony than the much costlier Safe House for Universal.

The Vow photo: Kerry Hayes / Screen Gems

Chris Pine This Means War Reese Witherspoon
Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon in This Means War

Dwayne Johnson Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Josh Hutcherson Vanessa Hudgens Luis Guzmán
Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Hudgens, Dwayne Johnson, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

At no. 3 this four-day Presidents Day weekend, trailing only Ryan Reynolds/Denzel Washington's Safe House and Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum's The Vow was Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which drew $26.4 million according to studio estimates. In fact, The Mysterious Island is so close to The Vow that the no. 2 and no. 3 spots are a virtual tie. Box-office actuals will come out tomorrow.

Directed by Brad Peyton, the $80 million-budgeted The Mysterious Island stars The Kids Are All Right's Josh Hutcherson and Fast Five/Tooth Fairy's Dwayne Johnson. After ten days, the adventure movie has collected $59.51 million in North America and an excellent $128 million overseas. Two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, Cider House Rules) and Vanessa Hudgens are also featured.

The latest Nicolas Cage vehicle, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, all but crashed and burned at no. 4. Despite costlier 3D ticket prices, Spirit of Vengeance brought in a dispiriting $25.7 million at 3,174 locations. The Ghost Rider sequel will have trouble matching its $57 million budget at the domestic box office – let alone recovering it. 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. Apart from Book of Secrets, the only Cage movies to have brought in more than $50 million in North America 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.

I should also mention that the original Ghost Rider pulled in $115.8 million in North America in early 2007. Spirit of Vengeance will be quite lucky if it reaches half that amount. And that isn't good news for Sony Pictures, which banked with partner Hyde Park Entertainment the sequel's reported $75-$80 million production budget – not including marketing/distribution expenses.

Directed by Crank/Crank: High Voltage's Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance also features Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Ciarán Hinds, and Johnny Whitworth.

Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudges, Luis Guzmán, Dwayne Johnson/Journey 2: The Mysterious Island photo: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

Starring Water for Elephants/Legally Blonde's Reese Witherspoon, Star Trek's Chris Pine, and Inception/The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy, McG's This Means War scored an unexciting – though better than initially estimated – $20.4 million at 3,189 North American sites this four-day Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

This Means War trailed Ryan Reynolds/Denzel Washington's Safe House and Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum's The Vow, Josh Hutcherson/Dwayne Johnson's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. To date, including Tuesday preview screenings, the Witherspoon-Pine-Hardy movie has pulled in $22.01 million domestically.

Internationally, including top markets Russia and Australia, the $65m-$70 million-budgeted romantic comedy/action flick mix earned $11 million. That's also better than expected, though hardly blockbuster material.

The story of two spies fighting for the affections of the same woman, This Means War was widely panned by film reviewers. It has a (quite rotten) 24 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Reese Witherspoon hasn't had a personal hit in four years: Seth Gordon's Four Christmas, co-starring Vince Vaughn, was her last one (domestically only; overseas it flopped). Things don't look as bad for the Oscar winner (Walk the Line, 2005) when you consider that the animated Monsters vs. Aliens, which featured her voice, earned nearly $200 million in the U.S. and Canada, while her pairing with Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants scored $117 million worldwide.

Witherspoon's one big recent flop was James L. Brooks' $120 million comedy How Do You Know, co-starring Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson, which bombed both domestically and internationally: its worldwide total was a meager $48.66 million. It remains to be seen whether the international market will come to the rescue of This Means War, or if the movie will end up as another box office disappointment – though definitely on a smaller scale than the disastrous How Do You Know.

So far, things for This Means War don't look all that promising abroad – but then again, they don't look all that disheartening, either. Number one openings in Australia and Russia (as per The Hollywood Reporter), even if somewhat low key, are nothing to sneer at.

I should add that an important reason Witherspoon's Water for Elephants did decent business overseas was the presence of Robert Pattinson, who has a huge following as a result of the Twilight Saga movies co-starring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. One obstacle This Means War will have to surmount is that neither Chris Pine nor Tom Hardy has Pattinson's following abroad.

Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, This Means War photo: Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox.

The Phantom Menace Star Wars Episode 1 Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman in George Lucas' Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

At no. 6 this four-day Presidents Day weekend, George Lucas/Ewan McGregor/Liam Neeson/Natalie Portman's Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D drew $10.15 million, according to studio estimates. The Phantom Menace was down a hefty 55 percent compared to the previous weekend, which, I should add, was a regular three-day weekend. The film's total to date in North America stands at $36.02 million. Overseas, where in the vast majority of countries the Star Wars saga never quite became the cultural phenomenon it is in the United States, The Phantom Menace 3D rerelease has brought in a respectable $37.1 million.

At no. 7, the sleeper hit Chronicle added $9.2 million for a domestic total of $52.67 million. Directed by Josh Trank, and featuring Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, and Ashley Hinshaw, Chronicle was budgeted at a reported $12 million, though that doesn't give you the whole picture. Surely 20th Century Fox spent a hefty amount marketing their cheap but potentially lucrative offering. Money well spent, obviously.

At no 8, the Disney-released Studio Ghibli production The Secret World of Arrietty earned a weak – though better than expected – $8.1 million at 1,522 theaters over the four-day weekend. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, Arrietty features the voices of Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, and Will Arnett, among others.

In Japan, The Secret World of Arrietty grossed $110.01 million in 2010. The animated feature has also done decent business in South Korea ($6.85m) and France ($7.01m).

Rounding out the top ten in North America were the following:

  • Daniel Radcliffe's The Woman in Black with $7.92 million and $46.53 million cume.
  • Liam Neeson's The Grey with $3.76 million and $48.66 million cume. Worldwide $54.86 million.
  • Alexander Payne/George Clooney's The Descendants with $3.5 million and $75.58 million cume. Worldwide: $143.98 million.
  • Michel Hazanavicius/Jean Dujardin/Bérénice Bejo's The Artist with $3 million and $28.09 million cume. Worldwide: $61.97 million, including $14.61 million in France (the film's country of production, though it was shot in Los Angeles) and $9.24 million in the United Kingdom, where The Artist received the British Academy of Film's Best Picture Award last week.

Clearly, both The Descendants and The Artist have received an Oscar boost. An additional box office boost will likely follow when the 2012 Oscar winners are announced next Sunday. Note: International/worldwide figures for The Grey, The Descendants, and The Artist may be off by a week or so.

Feb. 18 afternoon

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, despite 3D surcharges, landed at no. 2 at the North American box office on Friday, Feb. 17. With a dispiriting $7 million in ticket sales at 3,174 locations, Spirit of Vengeance trailed holdover The Vow's $7.4 million (down 52 percent from last Friday) according to studio estimates.

That's not good news for Nicolas Cage, who has been starring in one inexplicable flop after another. I say “inexplicable” not because Cage's movies are any good, but because Cage's fans – the people who turned stinking garbage like The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and the original Ghost Rider into box office hits – should have been lining up to see more of same: Bangkok Dangerous, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, etc.

The last Nicolas Cage movie to earn more than $100 million at the domestic box office was Book of Secrets, a blockbuster that took in $219.96 million in late '07/early '08. Apart from Book of Secrets, the only Cage movies to have grossed more than $50 million in the U.S. and Canada were Alex Proyas' 2009 thriller Knowing with $79.95 million and Jon Turteltaub's Disney-released 2010 fantasy The Sorcerer's Apprentice with $63.15 million.

As for the original Ghost Rider earned $115.8 million in North America in early 2007. Spirit of Vengeance will be lucky if it reaches half that amount. And that isn't good news for Sony Pictures, which shelled out with partner Hyde Park Entertainment a reported $75-$80 million for the sequel – not including marketing/distribution expenses.

Of course, it's possible that the international market will help to lift Spirit of Vengeance. (Co-producing company Hyde Park, not Sony, owns the film's international rights as per the Los Angeles Times.) Although Drive Angry added only $18.21 million overseas, the moderately budgeted Season of the Witch added a respectable $66.8 million, Knowing grossed $103.3 million, and the costly ($150m) The Sorcerer's Apprentice added a much-needed $152.13 million.

In fact, movies such as Spirit of Vengeance get made because of moviegoers outside North America. If it weren't for them, a lot of actors (and filmmakers and studio executives) would be displaying their talents (if any) on TV series, commercials, and reality shows.

Directed by Crank/Crank: High Voltage's Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, The Spirit of Vengeance also features Violante Placido, Idris Elba, Ciarán Hinds, and Johnny Whitworth.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance photo: Columbia Pictures.

Channing Tatum The Vow Rachel McAdams
Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, The Vow

Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, Michael Sucsy's romantic drama The Vow continues to perform remarkably well, having collected $7.4 million at the North American box office on Friday, Feb. 17, as per studio estimates. As it stands, the widely derided The Vow (26 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics) is expected to gross close to $30 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend. American Horror Story's two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange (Tootsie, Blue Sky) and The Piano's Sam Neill are also featured in this early 2012 sleeper hit – $79 million after eight days – that cost a relatively modest $30 million.

It's a good thing The Vow, which was reportedly inspired by a true story, is performing so well in the U.S. – it may turn out to be Rachel McAdams' biggest personal box office hit – as overseas audience don't seem all that interested in love and amnesia stories. The Vow pulled in only $10.87 million abroad, including major territories such as Australia, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

In fact, it looks like The Vow will follow the pattern of McAdams' previous romantic box office hit, The Notebook. Nick Cassavetes' 2004 melodrama about love and memory loss – sounds familiar? — co-starring Ryan Gosling, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands, generated $81 million in grosses in North America, but a mere $34.6 million elsewhere.

At no. 3, behind both The Vow and no. 2 entry Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds actioner Safe House took in $6.5 million. Safe House, which has grossed nearly $61 million after eight days, should be the extended weekend's no. 2 movie when final figures are tallied. That's not bad at all, but then again…

Safe House cost a reported $85 million, not including Universal's marketing/distribution expenses. So, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds better get their fans outside North America to line up for this one. So far, however, not so good. Safe House pulled in only $10.2 million abroad on its first weekend out, including top territories such as Russia, Spain, and Australia.

Washington, of course, is considered a major box office draw in the United States, even though in the last ten years only one of his films has earned more than $100 million domestically (and that includes Canada as well): Ridley Scott's American Gangster, co-starring Russell Crowe, which took in $130.16 million in late 2007. If inflation is taken into account, Washington has only one more over-$100 million hit since 2002: Spike Lee's heist thriller Inside Man (with about $107 million), which came out in 2006.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Safe House also features Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, and Rubén Blades.

Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum/The Vow pic: Kerry Hayes / Screen Gems.

Reese Witherspoon This Means War Chris Pine
Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, This Means War

Starring Water for Elephants/Legally Blonde's Reese Witherspoon, Star Trek's Chris Pine, and Inception/The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy, McG's This Means War scored a mild – though better than initially estimated – $5.6 million at 3,189 North American sites on Friday, Feb. 17, according to studio estimates. Early box office estimates had the $65m-$70 million-budgeted romantic comedy/action flick mix earning $5.1 million on Friday.

To date, including Tuesday preview screenings, This Means War has pulled in $7.2 million. The story of two spies fighting for the affections of the same woman, the badly panned film – 24 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – may or may not reach $20 million by Monday evening. It'll be trailing the following: Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum's The Vow, Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds' Safe House, and Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – and perhaps even Friday's no. 5 movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Reese Witherspoon hasn't had a personal hit in four years: Seth Gordon's Four Christmas, co-starring Vince Vaughn, was her last one (domestically only; overseas it flopped). Things don't look as bad for the Oscar winner (for Walk the Line, 2005) when you factor in that Monsters vs. Aliens, which featured her voice, earned nearly $200 million domestically, while her pairing with Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants brought in $117 million worldwide. Water for Elephants, in fact, performed relatively well – $58.7 million – in the U.S. and Canada when compared to other straight dramas (not horror/crime/action/sci-fi/fantasy) released in 2011.

Witherspoon's one big recent flop was James L. Brooks' $120 million comedy How Do You Know, which fizzled both domestically and internationally: its worldwide total was only $48.66 million. It remains to be seen whether the international market will come to the rescue of This Means War, or if it'll end up as a more modest flop – especially in relation to its cost – of the How Do You Know bomb. I should add that an important reason Water for Elephants did fairly decent business overseas was the presence of Robert Pattinson. The problem is that neither Chris Pine nor Tom Hardy has Pattinson's following abroad.

Despite This Means War's disappointing figures, this weekend's big flop at the domestic box office will surely be the Studio Ghibli production – released by Disney in North America – The Secret World of Arrietty, which earned a meager $1.7 million at 1,522 theaters on Friday. At no. 9, the animated feature trailed this weekend's aforementioned five movies, plus Chronicle, Daniel Radcliffe's The Woman in Black, and George Lucas/Ewan McGregor/Liam Neeson/Natalie Portman's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D.

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, The Secret World of Arrietty's four-day gross is expected to reach only $7-$7.5 million. US voice actors include Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, and Will Arnett.

But the Japanese-based Studio Ghibli probably isn't too worried. Despite their films' lack of general acceptance in the United States and Canada (and much of the world, for reasons unclear), the studio's animated features perform exceedingly well in Japan, where The Secret World of Arrietty grossed $110.01 million in 2010. Arrietty has also done decent business in South Korea ($6.85m) and France ($7.01m).

Chris Pine/Tom Hardy/This Means War pic: Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox.

Feb. 18 early morning

Chris Pine This Means War Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, This Means War

New entry Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 3D is vying with holdover The Vow for the number one spot at the North American on Friday, Feb. 17, according to early, rough figures found at Deadline.com. Each movie is expected to gross somewhere around $7.1-$7.2 million. Official studio estimates for Friday will be released Saturday morning.

As per Deadline's sources, Spirit of Vengeance should collect a so-so $24.5 million at 3,174 locations over the four-day Presidents Day weekend. That's about $10 million less than Ray Subers predicted at Box Office Mojo. The action flick stars Nicolas Cage, who hasn't had much luck at the box office of late even though his recent movies are no less atrocious than Cage's prior hits such The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure, or the original Ghost Rider. Cage's co-star in Spirit of Vengeance is Idris Elba.

Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, The Vow is expected to maintain its position at the top of the domestic box office with approximately $28 million by Monday evening. Jessica Lange and Sam Neill are also featured in this early 2012 sleeper hit.

Right behind The Vow, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds actioner Safe House should take in about $27 million after grosses of $6.2 million on Friday. Both The Vow and Safe House are expected to be down around 50 percent compared to last Friday (which had the advantage of midnight screenings).

Doing mediocre business at 3,189 sites, McG's $65m-$70 million-budgeted romantic comedy/action flick mix This Means War, starring Star Trek's Chris Pine, Water for Elephants/Legally Blonde's Reese Witherspoon, and Inception/The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy is expected to draw about $17.5 million over the four-day weekend. Friday estimates hovered around $5.1 million.

Reese Witherspoon hasn't had a personal hit in four years: Four Christmas, co-starring Vince Vaughn, was her last one. Things don't look as bad for the Oscar winner (for Walk the Line, 2005) when you factor in that Monsters vs. Aliens, which featured her voice, earned nearly $200 million domestically, while her pairing with Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants brought in $117 million worldwide. Water for Elephants, in fact, performed relatively well when compared to other straight dramas (not horror/crime/action) released in 2011.

Witherspoon's one big flop was James L. Brooks' $120 million comedy How Do You Know, which fizzled both domestically and internationally: its worldwide total was only $48.66 million. It remains to be seen whether the international market will come to the rescue of This Means War, or if it'll end up as a less disastrous version – in relation to its cost – of the How Do You Know bomb.

Now, this weekend's big domestic flop will be the Studio Ghibli production – released by Disney in North America – The Secret World of Arrietty, which earned a paltry $1.3 million at 1,522 theaters on Friday. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, the animated feature's four-day gross is expected to reach only $7 million. US voice actors include Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, and Will Arnett.

But Studio Ghibli probably isn't worried. Despite Studio Ghibli's lack of general acceptance in the United States and Canada (and much of the world, for reasons unclear), its animated features perform exceedingly well in Japan, where The Secret World of Arrietty has grossed $110.01 million. Arrietty has also done solid business in South Korea ($6.85 million) and France ($7.01 million).

Chris Pine/Tom Hardy/This Means War pic: Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox.

Feb. 11

Rachel McAdams Channing Tatum The Vow
Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, The Vow

Four movies are expected to earn more than $20 million at the North American box office this weekend: Michael Sucsy's The Vow, Daniel Espinosa's Safe House, George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 3D, and Brad Peyton's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. According to Deadline.com, that's the first time this happens over a non-holiday Fri/Sat/Sun. Even so, one must take into account both inflation and inflated 3D prices for both The Phantom Menace and The Mysterious Island.

Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, the Valentine's Day-timed The Vow is expected to top the weekend, grossing a better-than-expected $39 million after an estimated $15.5 million at 2,958 locations on Friday. Jessica Lange and Sam Neill co-star.

At no. 2, the R-rated actioner Safe House, should collect $38 million after earning about $15 million at 3,119 theaters on Friday. Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington star. The Safe House cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Jessica Lange's ex-husband, Sam Shepard.

Further down, The Phantom Menace, starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman, should collect $22 million over the weekend, after pulling in $8.5 million at 2,655 locations on Friday. Next in line should be The Mysterious Island with $21 million for the weekend after bringing in $6.5 million at 3,470 theaters on Friday. The Mysterious Island features Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, and Josh Hutcherson.

Before the weekend is over, it's perfectly possible that the first two movies will switch positions. The same goes for movies no. 3 and no. 4. And movies no. 5 and no. 6.

Down nearly 60 percent each, Chronicle and the post-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe movie The Woman in Black should earn about $11 million over the weekend. Which one will come first is totally unclear at this stage.

Remember that those are early, rough estimates. Official studio estimates for Friday will come out Saturday morning. Weekend estimates will be released on Sunday. Weekend box office actuals will be available on Monday.

Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum/The Vow photo: Kerry Hayes / Screen Gems

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1 Comment to 'The Vow' Biggest Rachel McAdams Hit & Nicolas Cage Flops Again

  1. Andrew

    I would not call it a flop exactly, if it had opened at number 8 or lower then it would be a flop. It did good but not great, it's because of the first one that it did not climb to number one, the scar has not fully healed. Though maybe this will be what it takes for Sony to give the rights back to Marvel and it can start from scratch again, i mean only reason they made was so they would not lose the rights, kinda of a shallow move if you ask me.