Love story “The Vow” won the hearts of moviegoers with $51.4 million in global ticket sales over a pre-Valentine’s Day weekend that featured stronger-than-expected performances from three new releases.
“The Vow,” starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, took in $41.7 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday in the biggest domestic opening so far this year, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters on Sunday. Twenty international markets added $9.7 million, bringing the global total to $51.4 million.
Action movie “Safe House” featuring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds took second place with an estimated $39.3 million domestically plus $10.2 million from 25 international markets. The worldwide total stood at $49.5 million.
The studios had projected domestic openings in the $20 million range for each of the top two finishers. To the surprise of industry executives, four movies topped $20 million each. That lifted the domestic weekend total for all films 29.3 percent higher than the same weekend last year, according to the box office division of Hollywood.com.
After the 2011 domestic box office ended with sales down 3.4 percent and attendance at a 16-year low, the early weeks of 2012 have produced a comeback.