Paramount's Shutter Island was off to a better than expected start this weekend with a first place finish of $41.06 million. The Martin Scorsese directed R-rated thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio posted an impressive per-location average of $13,729 from 2,991 locations. The opening weekend for Shutter Island was easily the largest debut of Scorsese's long career (his previous best being the $26.89 million start of 2006's The Departed) and was the sixth largest opening on record for the month of February. Shutter Island also generated the second largest three-day debut of 2010 thus far (behind only last week's Valentine's Day) and was likely aided in a big way from its recent Super Bowl commercial.
Warner's Valentine's Day fell one spot to finish in second, but was down an alarming 70 percent in the process. Valentine's Day brought in $16.67 million this weekend, which brings the film's ten-day total to $86.93 million. The ensemble romantic comedy is still outpacing expectations at this point, but is very likely to see continued rapid declines in the weeks ahead due to the massive bump it experienced on opening weekend from the Valentine's Day holiday and the below average word of mouth the film has generated. With that said, Valentine's Day is only $13.07 million away from becoming the first release of 2010 to reach the $100 million milestone.
Avatar followed closely behind Valentine's Day in third place with $16.24 million. Fox's 3D phenomenon was down 31 percent from last weekend. That marked the film's largest weekend decline to date, but also represented one of the weekend's better holds among wide releases. Most films were down sharply from last weekend thanks in part to last Sunday's Valentine's Day inflated grosses. With Avatar to lose 3D screens to Disney's Alice in Wonderland on March 5th, look for the film to hold up much better next weekend as some fans will want to see the film in 3D one last time.
Fellow Fox release Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief placed in fourth. The Chris Columbus directed fantasy film grossed $15.25 million, which was down 51 percent from last weekend. Percy Jackson held up much better than both Valentine's Day and Universal's The Wolfman, but didn't hold up as well in its second weekend as recent Presidents Day weekend releases aimed at families such as 2007's Bridge to Terabithia and 2008's The Spiderwick Chronicles. Nonetheless, Percy Jackson is running 25 percent ahead of Terabithia and 47 percent ahead of Spiderwick through ten days of release.
The Wolfman rounded out this weekend's top five with $9.90 million. The R-rated horror remake was down a massive 69 percent from its better than expected start last weekend. The Wolfman was clearly hurt by the added presence of Shutter Island in the marketplace and the film's below average word of mouth also finally kicked in. The Wolfman has grossed $50.36 million through ten days and should finish its domestic run in the neighborhood of $70 million.