"Die Hard" action beats love stories at box office
By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud
(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, wisecracking hero John McClane, pulled in $25 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the three days, according to studio estimates.
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. Continued...