Four pics look to land no. 1 during President's Day frame

The President’s Day weekend box office is looking to be a close but crowded race, with Universal’s “Safe House” in the early lead, according to B.O. estimates.

The Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds actioner, which bowed at #2 last weekend, is narrowly edging Sony’s new release “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” as well as holdovers “The Vow” and “Journey 2″ for the four-day holiday frame.

B.O. analysts have “Safe House” grossing between $6 million -$7 million Friday for a four-day cume of $24-$26 million, while Sony’s “Ghost Rider” sequel, which opened Friday at 3,174 locations including 2,352 in 3D, is tracking slightly ahead Friday with $6.5 million -$7.5 million — but it’s expected to drop off to the low- to mid-twenties for the weekend.

Reigning B.O. champ “The Vow,” from Screen Gems/Spyglass, is also holding well, with bizzers pegging the film gross to gross in the low $20M’s through Monday. The Channing Tatum-Rachel Adams romancer, directed by Michael Sucsy, has cumed $61.9 million through Thursday, thanks to a pre- and post-Valentines day surge, and could break the $100 million mark by next week.

Warners’ “Journey 2,” meanwhile, is seeing a slight uptick from kids out of class for the Presidential holiday, grossing $4.5M to $5.5 million Friday for a four day take of $20 million-$21 million.

Fox’s romance actioner “This Means War,” starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, is currently in fifth place with a Friday estimated cume of $4.5 -$5.5 million and an expected four day tally in the mid-to-high teens.

Disney’s Studio Ghibli toon “The Secret World of Arrietty,” another new release, should gross in the $1.5 million range Friday for a four day cume of $6-$7 million.

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