Box Office Report: 'The Vow' Conquers All, Takes No. 1 Slot on Friday

The Vow Channing Tatum Rachel McAdams Flirting - H 2012
Screen Gems

The Vow Channing Tatum Rachel McAdams Flirting - H 2012

While "Ghost Rider" opened strong in second place, "This Means War" had to settle for a fourth-place bow.

The power of love -- or at least a movie about the power of love -- prevailed at the box office Friday as Sony's The Vow, which opened at No. 1 last week, took the top spot for the day with an estimated $7.4 million.

With the President's Day holiday weekend shaping up as another upbeat outing at the North American box office, Sony is looking to nail down the top two spots since its new wide release, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was second for the day with about $7 million. Fox's This Means War, the day's other new major wide release, met with some resistance, bowing in the fourth slot with $5.6 million.

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Vow, from Sony's Screen Gems unit and Spyglass, got an extra boost mid-week from Valentine's Day moviegoers, with the Rachel McAdams-Channing Tatum starrer grossing $11.6 million on Feb. 14. Holding onto nearly 50 percent of its opening day audience on Friday, it looks as if it could flirt with the $30 million mark over the busy four-day weekend. 

Universal's thriller Safe House, starring Denzel Washington, also hung onto its audience as it entered its second weekend. Taking in about $6.5 million for the day, it stands to pull in a weekend haul in the high $20-million range and while it ranked third on Friday, could even move up a notch or two as the weekend plays out.

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Rider, the tale of a flammable superhero based on the Marvel Comics character, co-financed and co-produced by Sony and Hyde Park Entertainment, stars Nicolas Cage, is a sequel to the 2007 movie, which grossed $228 million worldwide. Opening in 3,174 theaters on Friday for a second place showing, it should also put together a figure in the mid-to-high $20 million range for the weekend.

War, in which Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play spies battling for the love of Reese Witherspoon, staged national sneaks on Valentine's Day, taking in $1.6 million, hoping to kickstart word of mouth for the movie, directed by McG. The $5.6 million it took in Friday in the 3,189 theaters where it bowed puts its-gross-to-date at $7.2 million. Its weekend take is expected to be something just under $20 million.

Warner's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the family-friendly 3D adventure, another sophomore entry, was fifth with $4.5 million.

The Secret World of Arietty, the weekend's final new release from Disney and Tokyo's Studio Ghibli, was in ninth place for the day with $1.7 million as it opened in 1,522 locations.