John McLane has defeated thieving European baddies, rogue military madmen and tech-savvy terrorists, but he nearly lost the box-office battle with one of the “Bridesmaids.” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the fifth entry in the series that made Bruce Willis a star, just barely defeated “Identity Thief” (featuring Melissa McCarthy in her first starring role) over President’s Day weekend.
“Safe Haven,” the latest Nicholas Sparks romance to hit the big screen, and “Escape from Planet Earth” had stronger-than-expected openings, and “Identity Thief” had remarkable hold. But “The Twilight Saga” wannabe “Beautiful Creatures” was a flop.
Both Willis and McCarthy triumphed over film critics, who panned “A Good Day to Die Hard” and the previous weekend’s #1 film, as well. The new “Die Hard” is the worst-reviewed in the franchise, sitting at just 16 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with “Identity Thief” scoring only 24 percent.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” took in $29.3 million over the four-day holiday, which was lower than most industry projections. The action flick, which sees Willis returning to his most memorable role, has collected $37.5 million since it opened Wednesday of last week. “Live Free or Die Hard,” which opened in June of 2007, had a stronger opening and eventually earned $134 million domestically. Even with its somewhat disappointing numbers, “A Good Day to Die Hard” still came in at #10 on the list of all-time President’s Day openings, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
The weekend’s #2 movie came quite close to beating “Die Hard” for #1. “Identity Thief” made $27.9 million from Friday to Monday and has earned $75.2 million since it opened. In addition to boosting the career of “Bridesmaids” alum McCarthy, the initial #1 debut for “Identity Thief” ranked as the biggest opening for Jason Bateman in a lead role. Its $75.2 million total makes it 2013’s biggest movie so far.
“Safe Haven” made $25.2 million over the four-day weekend and has generated a total of $34 million since Valentine’s Day. Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough co-star in the eighth Nicholas Sparks big-screen adaptation. Duhamel has seen major success as part of the “Transformers” franchise, but the modest $28 million budget of “Safe Haven” makes its numbers worth celebrating. During an MTV News set visit, Hough called “Safe Haven” “such a different Nicholas Sparks movie,” pointing out that it’s more of a “thriller” than something like “The Notebook.”
“Escape from Planet Earth” no doubt benefited from being the only new kid-oriented movie in theaters, opening at #4 to the tune of $21 million. “Warm Bodies” was #5 with $8.8 million. The zombie-filled romantic comedy has made $50 million since it debuted at #1 during Super Bowl weekend.
Some had hoped Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert could become the new Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, but that doesn’t seem meant to be. “Beautiful Creatures,” which sought the same teenage-supernatural-romance crowd as “Warm Bodies” and “The Twilight Saga,” failed to crack the top five. Despite a reported production budget of $60 million, “Beautiful Creatures” has made only $10.1 million since it opened Thursday.
Check out everything we’ve got on “A Good Day to Die Hard.”