There was no stopping Act of Valor this weekend as the Relativity release opened with a healthy first place take of $24.48 million. The low budget war film featuring Navy SEALs received a relatively large marketing push for a film of its size (including ads during Super Bowl XLVI) and that campaign paid off in a big way this weekend. Military pride and interest among the warfare gaming community were also key to the film's success. Act of Valor joins the growing list of films with largely unknown casts that have done well thus far in 2012; a list which also includes The Devil Inside and Chronicle. Warner's Project X could also very well be on the list by this time next week. The audience breakdown for Act of Valor skewed very heavily male (71 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 (60 percent). Largely negative reviews had no effect on Act of Valor, while audiences in turn gave the film an A rating on CinemaScore.
Tyler Perry's Good Deeds took second place with $15.58 million. The latest Tyler Perry film from Lionsgate opened on the low end of expectations and didn't reach the same opening weekend heights as most of Perry's previous films. Clearly, not being based on a pre-existing play and or including Perry's Madea character had an effect on Good Deeds. The film opened 10 percent softer than the $17.38 million start of 2008's The Family That Preys (which also wasn't based on one of Perry's plays). On the positive side of things, Good Deeds registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.93 to 1, so the possibility remains that Good Deeds could hold up better than Perry's previous films. The audience breakdown for Good Deeds skewed very heavily female (76 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 (85 percent).
Holdovers occupied the next five positions this weekend with Warner's Journey 2 leading the way with a third place take of $13.39 million. The 3D adventure sequel starring Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson experienced one of this weekend's stronger holds among wide releases as it was down just 33 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. Journey 2 has grossed $76.65 million in 17 days, but is likely to take a significant hit from Universal's The Lorax when in enters the marketplace this Friday. On the international front, Journey 2 remained strong with $18.5 million from 48 markets this weekend. That places the film's international total at $159.2 million and worldwide total at $235.8 million.
Universal's Safe House placed in fourth with $10.93 million. The action thriller starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds was down 54 percent from last weekend, as new competition from both Act of Valor and Good Deeds clearly took a toll on the film. Safe House has grossed $97.62 million in 17 days and will obviously reach the $100 million milestone in the coming days. Internationally, Safe House grossed $13.6 million from 46 territories this weekend. That places the film's international total at $35.9 million and worldwide total at $133.5 million.
The Vow rounded out the weekend's top five with $9.92 million. In the process the Sony release starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum surpassed the $100 million milestone. The 17-day total for the modestly budgeted romantic drama stands at $102.92 million, which currently makes it the highest grossing domestic release of 2012 thus far. The Vow was down a sharp 57 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be somewhat front-loaded.
It was a tough start for both Universal's Wanderlust and Summit's Gone this weekend. Wanderlust opened below its already modest expectations to finish in eighth with $6.53 million, while Gone opened on the lower end of its very modest expectations to land in ninth with $4.77 million. Audience breakdowns were 57 percent female and 61 percent over 30 for Wanderlust and 64 percent female and 61 percent over 18 for Gone. Look for both films to vanish from theaters before long.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.