If you’re an American you probably know that on Monday it’s President’s Day, which means a 4-day weekend for the box office. So what is Hollywood offering for this special occasion? Well there’s the return of the flaming skull rider played by Nic Cage, the romantic spy McG flick This Means War, and the Hayao Miyazaki animation The Secret World of Arrietty.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance could be a hit or miss but I think it should have what it takes to at least take the top spot this weekend. The original Ghost Rider opened five years ago on President’s Day weekend and went on to gross $52 million over the 4-day weekend. Inflated 3D prices or not, Spirit of Vengeance has no chance to match that. But even with half the attendance of Ghost Rider, the sequel should still hover around $30 million for the 4-day weekend.
Safe House might be 2nd with $27 million for what should be an 11-day total of over $81 million. It will put the movie just $2 million below American Gangster‘s $83 million at the same point in its run, that being the highest grossing Denzel Washington picture to date. I think Safe House has a good chance to finish above the $130.1 million of American Gangster.
Former leader The Vow is headed for $25 million in 3rd place and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island might show the best box office legs of the top 10 in 4th place with $21 million for $54 million after 11 days. That’s about $9 million ahead of Journey to the Center of the Earth, a movie that finished with $101.7 million.
I can see This Means War rounding out the top 5 with $19 million. I was going to predict this a bit higher but lately the film lost a lot of steam and with The Vow clearly being the first choice among couples, it’s not looking to good for the romantic-spy comedy.
And now on to by far the most interesting new release of the weekend, The Secret World of Arrietty. Produced and written by animation extraordinaire Hayao Miyazaki, this film already made $126.3 million internationally, of which $110 million came from Japan. Now that might seem like a lot but it’s actually below the norm since the last three Hayao directed animations (Arrietty is not) have all made over $200 million worldwide. Those are Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. In North America Ponyo opened with $3.5 million from 927 theaters. The Secret World of Arrietty comes in 1522 theaters so I recon it could push $6 or 7 million for the 4-day weekend, probably 9th place.
Next weekend Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston go all hippie in Wanderlust, Tyler Perry does his thing in Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, Amanda Seyfried looks for her sister in Gone, and real active duty U.S. Navy SEALs headline the action flick Act of Valor.