‘Die Hard’ action beats love stories at box office

(Reuters) – The fifth movie in the Bruce Willis “Die Hard” franchise scored the biggest box-office action over the U.S. holiday weekend, beating out love story “Safe Haven,” which came in third for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

“A Good Day to Die Hard,” with Willis returning as the tenacious wise-cracking hero John McClane, pulled in $25 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.

The tally was expected to approach $40 million through Monday, the Presidents Day holiday in the United States.

“Die Hard” beat “Safe Haven,” an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel that was aimed at luring couples during the week of Valentine’s Day. The film, which stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, pulled in $21.4 million over three days.

Last weekend’s box-office winner, the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Identity Thief,” stayed strong and ended up taking second place with $23.4 million.

Willis prevailed with his reprisal of a role he played four previous times starting with the original “Die Hard” in 1988. Those movies grossed $1.1 billion around the world and made Willis a global action star.

In the new movie, McClane travels to Russia to help his estranged son, a CIA operative played by Jai Courtney, in a fight to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist.

Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at 20th Century Fox studio, said the film performed “right on par with our expectations,” which was near $40 million for the five-day period through Monday.

Audiences were about 55 percent male and 45 percent female, with just over one-third under the age of 25 and two-thirds 25 and older, which Aronson said was in line with the franchise’s last installment.

“It just shows the consistency of the fan base,” he said.

The opening was nearly double the total of the original “Die Hard,” adjusted for inflation, but down significantly from the previous three films in the franchise, according to figures from boxofficemojo.com.

News Corp’s 20th Century Fox spent about $92 million to produce the latest “Die Hard” sequel. It hit theaters on Thursday, Valentine’s Day, and, in addition to “Safe Haven,” faced another romance movie in “Beautiful Creatures.” Fox promoted “Die Hard” with commercials encouraging moviegoers to “get some action” on Valentine’s Day.

“Beautiful Creatures,” the supernatural love story about a teen girl with magical powers, made its debut with $7.5 million at the box office to rank sixth.

The film was another of several Hollywood films aiming to capture the “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” audiences of teen girls with adaptations of popular young adult novels.

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution, said “Beautiful Creatures,” produced by Alcon Entertainment for about $60 million, had a number of competitors on a busy weekend and the studio had hoped for a bigger turnout. “It just missed the audience,” Goldstein said.

“Safe Haven” stars “Dancing with the Stars” alum Hough as a young woman who meets a widower played by Duhamel. Privately held Relativity Media produced the film for $28 million.

The studio said the film had performed in line with industry expectations of $20 million to $25 million, and would likely place second from the Thursday-to-Monday holiday period.

In fourth place, family film “Escape from Planet Earth,” pulled in $16.1 million. The $40 million animated movie features the voices of Brendan Fraser and Sarah Jessica Parker in the story of an astronaut who finds trouble when he responds to a distress call from an alien planet.

Zombie romance “Warm Bodies,” in its third weekend of release, took the No. 5 slot with $9 million.

“Identity Thief” was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp. The privately held Weinstein Co released “Escape from Planet Earth.” Lions Gate Entertainment’s

Summit studio released “Warm Bodies.” “Beautiful Creatures” was produced by Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc.

seven

‘Magnificent Seven’ remake to be featured at Toronto film fest

TORONTO,  (Reuters) – Director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the 1960s Western “The Magnificent Seven” is expected to kick off the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept.

Garry Marshall

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall dead at 81 – media

(Reuters) – Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday, Variety reported.

Rajinikanth

Tamil superstar takes over southern India ahead of film release

(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India yesterday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.” Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.

default placeholder

Singer Elton John gives boost to groups fighting AIDS

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Groups working to battle AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the first winners of grants established by singer Elton John to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the singer said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK shows

(Reuters) – Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.

rihanna

Rihanna cancels Nice concert after attack

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna has cancelled a concert scheduled for Friday in Nice after a gunman in a truck ploughed into crowds marking Bastille Day in the southern coastal French city, killing at least 84 people.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: