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A Good Day to Die Hard tops US and international charts

The fifth Die Hard movie displayed the brand’s power by topping the US charts despite stiff competition from Identity Thief and Safe Haven.

John McClane has still got it. After being released on Valentine’s Day, the fifth Die Hard franchise installment, A Good Day to Die Hard, topped the US charts with $25 million for the weekend and dominated on the international circuit, ranking first with $61.5 million. Though the Bruce Willis starrer was predicted to fare slightly better at home, the earnings still represent a victory for the twenty-five-year-old franchise, especially in the wake of other recent disasters starring older action heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand ($6.3 million opening) and Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head ($4.5 million opening).

The biggest hit of the year so far, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief came in second in the US, dropping 32% from its opening weekend to earn $23.4 million, with a total gross of $71 million so far. Despite dismal reviews, the crowds are turning out to see the first high profile adult-targeted comedy in months. The UK release is set for March 22.

Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel out-performed expectations, debuting to $21.4 million for the weekend in third place. Sparks’ signature romance-in-peril formula combined with the timely Valentine’s Day release appears to have been a winning combination. Safe Haven premieres in the UK March 1.

Escape From Planet Earth, the animated 3D family feature about a race of aliens and one hero’s journey to Earth, took advantage of a gap in material aimed at children to gross $16.1 million in its opening weekend and rank fourth. The film is voiced by Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rob Corddry, and Jessica Alba.

In the Young Adult category, zombie rom-com Warm Bodies starring Nicholas Hoult won out over newcomer Beautiful Creatures in its third outing. Warm Bodies ranked fifth in the US with $9 million, while Beautiful Creatures only managed $7.5 million in sixth place, a disappointing result for what was hoped to be the next major YA craze. Beautiful Creatures was adapted from the first book in the Caster Chronicles series, and stars Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich as young lovers torn apart by an ancient battle between good and evil.

In seventh place in the US, Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Side Effects dropped to $6.3 million in its second week. UK audiences can see the nightmarish pharmaceutical-themed flick March 8. In eighth place, Silver Linings Playbook made $6.1 million, and is poised to pass the $100 million mark today, signifying a serious victory for the best picture Oscar-contending indie dramedy.

Action comedy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters ranked ninth in the US with $3.5 million, and also carved out a spot in the international top five at fifth place with $9.5 million. Best picture Oscar contender Zero Dark Thirty has slowed way down, but still placed in the US top ten at tenth with $3.1 million.

Other high-ranking films on the international charts include best picture Oscar nominee Django Unchained in second with $13.7 million, family film Wreck-It Ralph, still enjoying its long international run in third with $11.5 million, and another best picture nominee, Les Miserables in fourth with $10 million.

Next week’s US releases include thriller Dark Skies starring Keri Russell and action flick Snitch starring Dwayne Johnson. In the UK, Mama, Cloud Atlas, and Song For Marion will debut.

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