‘Act of Valor’ Is Top Film With $24.5 Million in Sales

“Act of Valor,” from Relativity Media, led the box office in its debut weekend, collecting $24.5 million in ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

“Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds” opened in second place with $15.6 million for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Act of Valor,” filmed with active U.S. Navy SEAL forces, broke through in a crowded Oscar weekend that saw four new movies open. Weinstein Co.’s “The Artist,” winner last night of five Academy Awards, including best picture, generated $3 million in sales this past weekend after expanding to 966 theaters from 808.

“Most of the films that are nominated get a little bit of a bump once they are nominated, and then, of course, films that win an Academy Award get some pretty substantial bumps following,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Industries, in a telephone interview.

“The King’s Speech” received a boost in ticket sales last year after taking the top prize, and ended up grossing more than $400 million in global box office, he said.

“The Artist” has grossed $31.9 million in domestic theaters since its release on Nov. 25.

“We’ve had a tremendous track record with ‘The Artist’ and should we garner awards, it could have a positive effect on the box office,” Erik Lomis, Weinstein Co.’s president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment, said in an interview last week.

The Most Elite

For “Act of Valor,” directors Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy hired active-duty SEALs to create realistic action scenes such as a raid on a drug compound. They are out to rescue a missing CIA agent played by Roselyn Sanchez.

SEAL teams, among the most elite of U.S. troops, gained worldwide attention for the May 2011 raid on a safe house in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The film cost $12 million to make, according to Hollywood.com.

“Hollywood profitability is a difficult thing to achieve,” Sweeney said. “It’s hard for lower-budget films to break through, and when they do it tends to be very profitable.”

‘Good Deeds’

Perry, known for the “Madea” comedies aimed at African-American audiences, stars in “Good Deeds” as a businessman whose scripted life takes an unexpected turn after he does a favor for a single mother, played by Thandie Newton, who works on the cleaning crew in his building.

Perry’s four “Madea” movies have taken in $455 million worldwide for Lions Gate, including $288 million in the domestic market.

Returning movies “Journey 2: The Mysterious Islands,” “Safe House,” and “The Vow” rounded out the top five.

“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., generated $13.4 million, good for $76.6 million in its third weekend. The picture features Dwayne Johnson in a 3-D sequel to the 2009 hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

“Safe House,” from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, took in $10.9 million, falling to fourth from first. The film, starring Denzel Washington as a rogue CIA agent, has generated $97.6 million in three weeks.

The romantic drama “The Vow” dropped to fifth from second with $9.9 million in receipts for Sony Corp.’s Screen Gems unit. The film, starring Channing Tatum as a man whose wife awakens from a coma with no memory of their marriage, has drawn $102.9 million in U.S. ticket sales.

Out of Top Five

A pair of major new releases failed to crack the top five. Universal’s R-rated comedy “Wanderlust” made its debut in eighth place with $6.5 million. The movie stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as a New York couple that stumbles on a hippie commune.

“Gone,” from Summit Entertainment, starring Amanda Seyfried as a woman searching for a sister who has been abducted, was ninth with $4.8 million.

“That’s a disappointment for both of them,” Sweeney said. “They weren’t well reviewed, and there was different types of box office behavior given the Academy Awards and people going to see the nominated films.”

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 19 percent to $114.2 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Attendance is up 20 percent year to date, while revenue is up 18 percent. The amounts below are based on actual tickets sales for Feb. 24 through Feb 26.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 ACT OF VALOR       $24.5    3,039   $8,054   --    $24.5    1
 2 PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS  15.6    2,132    7,310   --     15.6    1
 3 JOURNEY 2           13.4    3,350    3,997  -33     76.6    3
 4 SAFE HOUSE          10.9    3,052    3,580  -54     97.6    3
 5 THE VOW              9.9    3,038    3,264  -57    102.9    3
 6 GHOST RIDER          9.0    3,174    2,837  -59     38.0    2
 7 THIS MEANS WAR       8.4    3,189    2,642  -52     33.5    2
 8 WANDERLUST           6.5    2,002    3,260   --      6.5    1
 9 GONE                 4.8    2,186    2,182   --      4.8    1
10 ARRIETTY             4.4    2,958    1,471  -33     14.5    2
11 CHRONICLE            3.7    1,797    2,051   48     58.0    4
12 STAR WARS            3.2    1,618    1,962  -60     40.4    3

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $114.2 $96.1 +19

Year-to-date Revenue

2012 2011 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $1,619 $1,377 +18 Year-to-date Attendance: +20%
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