'Valentine's' tops weekend boxoffice

All-star comedy wins weekend, 'Percy' comes in second

Warner Bros.' romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" wrapped up an estimated $66.9 million in opening domestic boxoffice to top a record four-day President's Day weekend, which also featured the titular hearts-and-flowers holiday on Sunday.

Two other wide releases also bowed well. Fox unspooled book-based kidspic "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" with $38.8 million in second place, and Universal debuted Benicio Del Toro starrer "The Wolfman" with $36.5 million in third.

Fox-distributed "Avatar" rung up $30 million in fourth place, as the scifi epic pushed its cumulative domestic b.o. to $667.6 million through nine weekends.

Produced by Relativity Media and distributed by Sony, romantic drama "Dear John" marked an acceptable 47% decline in Friday-Sunday coin, compared with its week-earlier tally, to post $18.8 million in fifth place during the holiday-stretched session. "John" cume reached $56.7 million through Monday.

Lionsgate's John Travolta starrer "From Paris With Love" fell a modest 32% in its soph session to $6.8 million in seventh place, with an 11-day cume of $17.9 million.

Collectively, the frame's top 10 finishers fetched $220.5 million, or 25% more than top performers in last year's Presidents Day weekend, boxoffice tracker Rentrak said.

On an industry-wide basis, the $238 million marked an 8% uptick from a then-record $220.6 million posted during last year's Presidents Day session.

In a limited bow, Fox Searchlight's "My Name Is Khan" -- a romantic drama about a Mumbai Muslim with Asperger's Syndrome -- unspooled in 120 locations and grossed $2.3 million, or an impressive $18,958 per site. Execs touted the opening as the best ever by a Bollywood-produced title.

Elsewhere, Searchlight's Jeff Bridges starrer "Crazy Heart" continued its solid post-Oscar nominations expansion. The music-filled drama upped distribution to 1,005 theaters from a previous 819 and grossed $5 million -- good for ninth place on the frame and a sturdy $4,975 theater average -- as cume climbed to $17.5 million.

Sony Pictures Classics' Leo and Sofya Tolstoy biopic "The Last Station" added 33 playdates for a total 84 and grossed $678,249, or a pleasing $8,182 per engagement, as cume reached $1.5 million.

And IFC Films maintained its three-part British crime drama "Red Riding" in two New York locations and grossed $17,503, or $8,752 per site, with cume reaching $41,795.

Rated PG-13, New Line-produced "Valentine's" drew mostly date-movie couples and single women. Its audiences were comprised 68% of females, with 50% of patrons aged 30 or older.

"Valentine's" opened bigger than any previous pic bowing over Presidents Day or Valentine's Day weekends and provided personal bests for director Garry Marshall and many cast members, including Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper and Jamie Foxx.

"We knocked it out of the park this time," Warners distribution boss Dan Fellman said.

Some had suggested the pic would prove to be a one-weekend wonder. But Fellman said its outsize bow suggests "Valentine's" will display sturdy legs during coming sessions.

PG-rated "Percy" represented the fresh family pic in the marketplace but played a bit more broadly than expected. Audiences were evenly split between males and females, with 53% of support from parents with kids in tow.

"We got teens, we got adults, and we got families," Fox senior vp distribution Bert Livingston said. "It exceeded our expectations."

Rated R, "Wolfman" skewed older and male. Audiences were 56% male, with 51% of patrons aged 25 or older.

"The number met our expectations, and we're pleased," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said. "Marketing did an extraordinary job getting the message out on this film."

"Wolfman" saw a 10% uptick on Saturday from its Friday tally, offering hope that word of mouth will prove better than reflected in the film's C-plus rating from audience survey service Cinema Score.

A pricey pic -- with reported production expenses of $110 million or more -- "Wolfman" will need strong legs to recoup studio costs. But after four release-date delays due to production and marketing considerations, its solid debut has Uni execs breathing easier for now.

Looking ahead, just one pic is set to open wide next weekend, but it's a biggie: Paramount unspools Martin Scorsese's Leonard DiCaprio starrer "Shutter Island" on Friday. Delayed from a previous holiday release slot, Par has been seeking to build broad pre-release interest amid positive early reviews.
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