'Valentine's Day' strikes at heart of box office

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The Independent Culture

"Valentine's Day," a tale of break-ups and make-ups in Los Angeles, opened with record-setting Valentine's Day weekend box office takings in North America, pulling in 66.9 million dollars, final figures showed Monday.

The romantic collage starring Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey and Ashton Kutcher, among others, beat the 52-million-dollar record for the three-day holiday weekend set by "Ghost Rider" in 2007.

Mythological adventure-fantasy picture "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," based on Rick Riordan's book, starring Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman, opened in second place with 38.8 million dollars, said box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Another newcomer, "The Wolfman," a remake of the lycanthrope legend with Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Geraldine Chaplin, took a 36.5-million-dollar bite at the box office for third place.

In fourth place was science-fiction epic "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time with more than two billion dollars worldwide. In its ninth week on the North American film circuit, James Cameron's film made 23.5 million dollars.

Romantic tearjerker "Dear John" fell from the top to fifth spot in its second week. The film, an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel about a soldier who falls in love with a college student, pulled in 16.1 million dollars for a two-week total of 56.7 million.

The Dwayne Johnson comedy "The Tooth Fairy" was in sixth place in its fourth week, with 6.1 million dollars in box office receipts, and 41.5 million dollars in total.

Action film "From Paris With Love," starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, fell from third to seventh spot in its second week with 5.5 million dollars.

In eighth place was revenge thriller, "Edge of Darkness," featuring Mel Gibson in his first major screen role since 2002.

The film about a hard-bitten Boston cop hunting his daughter's killers earned 4.8 million dollars for a three-week total of 37.2 million.

Ninth position went to "Crazy Heart," a low-budget drama about a washed-up country singer struggling to rebuild his career, starring Jeff Bridges in the Oscar-nominated lead role. Bridges is seen as odds-on favorite to scoop his first Academy Award for the performance.

"Crazy Heart" earned 4.2 million dollars for a nine-week total of 17.5 million.

Rounding out tenth place was romantic comedy "When in Rome," starring Kristen Bell as a New Yorker seeking love in the Eternal City. It made 3.7 million dollars for a three-week total of 26.8 million.

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