Back when Shutter Island was bumped from an October 2009 release to mid-February of the following year—short-circuiting a marketing/awards push that was already in progress—Paramount Pictures was upfront about the film being a casualty of the economic downturn, but it was nonetheless a distressing move for Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Departed. Turns out that Paramount was crazy like a fox: Given the weekend to itself—thanks to From Paris With Love shifting dates, though that hardly would have mattered—Shutter Island easily took first place with $40.2 million in receipts, posting Scorsese and star Leonard DiCaprio’s largest opening ever, together or apart. That total more than doubled the $17.1 million brought in by last week’s #1 Valentine’s Day, which dropped an astonishing 70% from its opening frame. And lookie-there, Avatar inched back up the charts to #3 with $16.1 million, bringing its 10-week domestic total to $688 million.

In limited release, the warmly received new Roman Polanski thriller The Ghost Writer enjoyed a very healthy $44,750 per screen average on four screens, and starts a wider expansion this weekend.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.