Originally, the first two Die Hard films were set on Christmas (even though both were summer movies). By the third film, there was no set holiday (school was still in session, that much is sure), while the fourth film played up it’s Independence Day release date. As A Good Day to Die Hard is coming out for Valentine’s Day, we would hope – but don’t expect – some lip service paid to that.

Though the Die Hard franchise is a little beat up this go around, the February release date makes it the biggest movie of the month by far, and with a four day weekend ahead of it, it’s in a good place to make some fast cash. Yes, reviews have called it the worst of the series, but that won’t matter to most. And that’s the benefit and problem with sequel. The audience will get what they want out of this film because A) It stars Bruce Willis, B) Stuff blows up, C) He says Yipee Ki Yay Mother Something, and D) He beats the terrorist/thieves/whatever they are in this one. Audiences are going to get what they came for, even if whatever made the character interesting, or the first film good has been lost in the shuffle. It’s a burger. Eat. Who cares if some of it is horse meat?

This weekend also brings Safe Haven and Escape From Planet Earth. The former is a Nicholas Sparks movie, and even though we’ve heard that the ending is actually insane, it should do modest business, partly because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend. Escape is the only animated film out now, so it could do well, but it looks low rent so we’d bet against.

There’s also Beautiful Creatures, which is in the same vein as Twilight and The Hunger Games (which all owe a debt to a certain Mr. Potter), in that it stars a young girl and there’s fantastical elements. The one thing Lionsgate did brilliantly with the release of Hunger Games was make the drumbeat obvious. There were casting stories, trailers for the trailer, still releases and more all along the way. Sure, the books were popular-ish, but they made their event film an event film. Warner Brothers hasn’t followed that, so this will have to work due to word of mouth. And that could happen. Sure.

So let’s do it (for the three day):

  1. Die Hard 5 - $28.5 Million
  2. Identity Thief – $16.5 Million
  3. Safe Haven – $15 Million
  4. Beautiful Creatures - $12.3 Million
  5. Escape From Planet Earth - $7.5 Million

I’ll check in on Sunday to see how wrong I am.

What are you going to watch this weekend?