Movies by the Numbers: February 19th, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard Movie Poster

A Good Day to Die Hard Movie Poster

While it’s not an overwhelming victory, Bruce Willis will reign over the President’s Day weekend as A Good Day to Die Hard finishes on top of the box office. Finishing up just shy of $29 million, the fifth installment of the Die Hard series may be the last or perhaps the last to be rated R. The previous film Live Free or Die Hard took in roughly $48 million on its opening weekend and that wasn’t a holiday release. In the end, A Good Day to Die Hard may not even crack $100 million. Where the finger should be pointed for the blame isn’t quite as clear. Although many will say that the PG-13 rating gave them the ability to get more eyeballs on the screen. Throwing in overseas numbers, this latest Bruce Willis action film will be seen as a success for Fox. However, whether or not the gamble on future films will be necessary remains to be seen.

Identity Thief finished second and nearly took first place for the first time. Adding the $27 million into the mix and the Melissa McCarthy driven comedy is the highest grossing film of the year thus far. With a string of comedies in the works for McCarthy, she may be taking the reigns as the queen of comedy in Hollywood in the coming months. Identity Thief is well on its way to becoming the first film in 2013 to reach $100 million. While this is no slight on the success of the film, it is quite telling that Identity Thief is the most successful film of the year. Most of the films have seemingly felt like leftovers from 2012 or sequels to franchises years in the making. This will of course change as 2013 rolls on but the slow start has left the major films of the year with quite a load to carry.

Safe Haven became one of the most well received Nicholas Sparks adaptations thus far. Finishing in third with $25 million, drew a strong female audience off of a very direct marketing campaign. It hit the desired audience immediately and the demographics showed that it was well targeted. The film was able to draw a majority of its viewers from the under 25 pool of ticket buyers. They also succeeded in assuring audiences that we will see more Nicholas Sparks adaptations in the future.

The children’s movie that no one knew about, Escape From Planet Earth, drew $21 million with little publicity and nearly no marketing effort. While it is a bit off from a similar release Gnomeo and Juliet, the showing proves the film’s interest level with audiences, especially given the lack of marketing dollars provided. The success can be viewed as scheduling genius. It is the only PG or PG-13 release of the long weekend, making it the only option for many families. Credit has to be given to the Weinstein Company for analyzing the market and taking advantage of the opening.

All numbers from Box Office Mojo.