Denzel Washington’s thriller, Safe House, beat last weekend’s box office champion, The Vow, to claim the top spot, taking $28.4 million at North American theatres during the President day holiday, which runs from Friday through Monday.
Slipping to second place, The Vow, was not far behind with $26 million. The romantic drama, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, is still drawing a large number of young ladies and couples to theatres.
3D action movies, Dwayne Johnson’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Nicholas Cage’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeanance, landed in the third place with $26.4 million and fourth place with $25.7 million respectively.
The new Romantic comedy, This Means War, about two CIA agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who fight for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon) earned the fifth place with a better-than-expected $20.4 million. The movie, which cost $65 million to make, received another $11 million boost from international markets.
These impressive figures sound like music to Hollywood excutives’ ears, particulary following last year’s 3.4% slump in domestic box office receipts. They represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same weekend a year ago. So far, revenue this year is running 17.9% a head of 2011 and attendance is up 20.6%.