- Valentine’s Day box office: Featuring Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, and others, Garry Marshall’s all-star romantic comedy had a stronger than expected domestic debut.
- More February box office news: The Wolfman and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief had underwhelming openings in relation to their hefty budgets, while Shah Rukh Khan’s controversial star vehicle My Name Is Khan is an international Bollywood hit.
Valentine’s Day box office: Garry Marshall’s all-star romantic comedy opens with bigger than expected figures
Feb. 12–14 (Presidents’ Day) weekend box office: Despite generally mediocre reviews, Garry Marshall’s all-star concoction Valentine’s Day topped the domestic box office chart with an impressive $56.3 million from 3,665 North American (U.S. and Canada only) theaters, according to final studio figures found at Boxofficemojo.com. That’s about $4 million above early weekend estimates and a strong (3D-less) $15,350 per venue. Four-day weekend total (including Presidents’ Day, Feb. 15): $63.1 million.
Internationally, Valentine’s Day scored an estimated $30.4 million in 52 countries. Australia was the top market with $6.4 million.
A New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. release, Valentine’s Day was reportedly budgeted at $52 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
Valentine’s Day movie cast
In the extensive Valentine’s Day cast: Oscar winners Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, 2000), Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment, 1983), Kathy Bates (Misery, 1990), and Jamie Foxx (Ray, 2004); and Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, 2008) and Queen Latifah (Chicago, 2002).
Plus: Bradley Cooper, Topher Grace, Jessica Alba, Eric Dane, Taylor Swift, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Lautner, Jessica Biel, Emma Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Ashton Kutcher, George Lopez, and Hector Elizondo.
Lastly, Joe Mantegna is featured in an unbilled cameo. Katherine Fugate was credited for the multistoried screenplay.
Sizable global hit
Update: Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day movie ultimately earned $110.5 million domestically and an estimated $106 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $216.5 million – making it a profitable box office hit.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($15.5 million), Australia ($14.5 million), France ($10 million), Germany ($8.3 million), Russia/CIS ($4.7 million), and Brazil ($4.4 million).
The Wolfman on its way to becoming a costly flop
Trailing Valentine’s Day at no. 2, Joe Johnston’s poorly received horror drama The Wolfman raked in $31.5 million from 3,222 sites. That would be a solid figure for an average production, but not for a $150 million movie – which is now bound to become a major money-loser for Universal Pictures.
Oscar winners Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, 2000) and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991) star for the same studio that back in the day boasted Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney Jr. in fare like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Black Cat, and The Wolf Man (1941 release with Chaney Jr. as the title character and Claude Rains in the Hopkins role).
Overseas, The Wolfman collected an estimated $21 million in 37 territories – and that means Universal can’t rely on international moviegoers to come to the rescue of their nine-figure horror show. The U.K. was the top market with $3.4 million.
Also featured in The Wolfman: Emily Blunt, Asa Butterfield, Clive Russell, Hugo Weaving, and veteran Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago, Cria Cuervos) as an old gypsy (Maria Ouspenskaya in the 1941 original).
Update: The Wolfman ultimately drew in $62 million domestically and $77.8 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $139.8 million – not even enough to match the mega-production’s budget.
Its top international markets were Mexico ($11.1 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($7.3 million), Italy ($5.9 million), Spain ($5.8 million), Russia/CIS ($4.7 million), and Brazil ($4.3 million).
Percy Jackson & The Olympians underperforms
Trailing Valentine’s Day and The Wolfman on the domestic chart, Chris Columbus’ $95 million fantasy adventure Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief scored $31.2 million from 3,356 locations.
Internationally, this 20th Century Fox release collected an estimated $28 million in 63 countries. Could that be enough to offset Percy Jackson’s relatively soft domestic debut?
Not likely, especially once one factors in marketing and distribution costs.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan, Brandon T. Jackson, Sean Bean, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Jake Abel, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, and Oscar nominees Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, 1999; Capote, 2005) and Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, 1994).
Money-losing global box office success
Update: Chris Columbus’ Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief ultimately took in $88.8 million domestically and a far better $137.7 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $226.5 million.
That makes the fantasy adventure both a global hit and a money-losing underperformer.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians’ top international markets were Japan ($14.7 million), South Korea ($11.6 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($11 million), France ($10.4 million), Brazil ($9.3 million), Germany ($8 million), Russia/CIS ($7.6 million), Mexico ($6 million), and Spain ($5.9 million).
International Bollywood hit My Name is Khan
And now we get to the international box office performance of Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan: The U.S.-set, Hindi-language social/political drama – which has outraged far-right Hindu nationalists – took in an estimated $14.2 million from 1,692 venues in a mere eight markets.
My Name Is Khan topped the box office chart in India with $9.2 million (as per Screen Daily), and scored the biggest Bollywood debut ever in the United States and Canada ($1.9 million), the United Kingdom ($1.5 million), the United Arab Emirates ($1.1 million), Australia ($389,000), and New Zealand ($101,000).
Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol star in this Fox Star Studios production about an autistic Muslim man who sets out to meet the American president so he can be absolved of his stepson’s death, for which his wife blames him.
Update: The Shah Rukh Khan star vehicle My Name Is Khan ultimately collected $4 million in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to $38.3 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $42.3 million.
Terry Gilliam gets the final word
The staggering box office success of James Cameron’s Avatar – another $23.4 million this past weekend in the domestic market – has surely pleased the filmmaker, distributor 20th Century Fox, and fans of the futuristic fantasy adventure.
But not everyone is happy.
Brazil and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus director Terry Gilliam, for one, griped at this year’s London Evening Standard British Film Awards:
“There are so many small, beautiful filmmakers and actors and directors with so much potential that just can’t get a look in because the studios are just pumping all their money into these huge projects. There are such incredible lower-budget films that are magical, but we’ve got our work cut out with things like Avatar coming out.
How are these young talents supposed to get a look in without the budget?
That’s the sad thing, because they are just as good.”
“Valentine’s Day Box Office: All-Star International Hit” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “Valentine’s Day Box Office: All-Star International Hit” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Valentine’s Day, The Wolfman, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, My Name Is Khan, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Bradley Cooper Valentine’s Day movie image: Ron Batzdorff | Warner Bros.
Benicio Del Toro The Wolfman movie image: Universal Pictures.
Shah Rukh Khan My Name Is Khan movie image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
“Valentine’s Day Box Office: All-Star International Hit” last updated in October 2023.