'Die Hard' action beats love stories at box office
Updated: 2013-02-18 10:58
Cast members Jai Courtney (R) and Bruce Willis meet with fans to celebrate the opening of their new film "A Good Day To Die Hard" in New York February 13, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
The fifth movie in the Bruce Willis "Die Hard" franchise scored the biggest box-office action over the US holiday weekend, beating out love story "Safe Haven," which came in third for the Friday-through-Sunday period.
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"A Good Day to Die Hard," with Willis returning as the tenacious, wisecracking hero John McClane, pulled in $25 million at US and Canadian theaters over the three days, according to studio estimates.
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The tally was expected to approach a total of $40 million for the five days that began with Thursday's Valentine's Day and ends with Monday's 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 the 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 from Friday to Sunday.
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.
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.
The film added another $61 million to its total at international box offices, performing especially well in Russian, Japan and the United Kingdom.