On a crowded Valentine’s Day weekend, three films that might have finished #1 on less competitive weeks squared off and all three were more or less winners. Taken together, Valentine’s Day, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and The Wolfman combined for $114 million in total box office, an astonishing number for February, a traditionally anemic month for the movies. (And all that despite lousy reviews across the board.) But there could be only one winner, and that was Valentine’s Day, the terrible omnibus romantic comedy in the Love Actually/He’s Just Not That Into You mold, which already recouped its budget (before promotion, advertising, and other expenses) with $52 million. Clearly, the $500,000 per minute of screen time paid to Julia Roberts was money well spent. The would-be Harry Potter successor Percy Jackson & The Olympians got off to a reasonably promising start, collecting $31 million for second, and perhaps justifying some sequel talk, if only just barely. That left The Wolfman to finish a close third at $30.6 million, which sounds like a solid take until you consider the $150 million budget it will have serious trouble recouping.
Not much happening in limited release, save for the unexpected bonanza that is My Name Is Khan, the latest (and perhaps most successful) attempt to bring Bollywood to American screens. (Sorry, Chandi Chowk To China.) The Shah Rukh Khan vehicle, about a Muslim Asperger’s sufferer from Mumbai, benefitted from the turmoil surrounding its release, which was threatened by the right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena. Khan prevailed at home and abroad, however, with a U.S. total of $1.86 million on 120 screens—or $15,500 per screen.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.