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Friday Box Office: ‘Safe Haven,’ ‘Die Hard’ in horse race for top spot with $7.2 mil each

Nicholas Sparks romancer expected to upset Willis actioner over holiday frame

A pair of Valentine’s Day heartthrobs — Relativity Media’s “Safe Haven” and Fox’s “A Good Day to Die Hard” — courted different demos Friday to the same tune of $7.2 million.

Wednesday predictions for the latest “Die Hard” installment had it earning upward of $50 million over the long weekend, but Thursday returns painted a more realistic picture of a five-day haul close to $30 million. Pair that with a slightly overperforming Nicholas Sparks adaptation and President’s Day is looking at an upset that’ll likely push the Bruce Willis actioner from first to third.

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Between the two newcomers, last week’s victor “Identity Thief” is looking at a strong long weekend for its soph sesh. Down 40% from its opening day, “Identity Thief” earned $6.5 million Friday, and looks to make around $25 million through Monday, sandwiching neatly between “Safe Haven’s” expected four-day of $26 million and “Die Hard’s” expected four-day of $23 million.

In 10 days in release, “Identity Thief” has cumed $47.3 million.

In fourth, Weinstein Co.’s animated “Escape from Planet Earth” earned $3.7 million Friday, the only one of this weekend’s openers not to bow on Valentine’s Day. Behind it, Summit’s “Warm Bodies” fell 20% to $2.6 million in a strong third weekend showing, and Warner Bros. newcomer “Beautiful Creatures” underwhelmed with $2.3 million.

“Creatures” has cumed $4.9 million since Thursday, and is now expected to barely breach $10 million in its first five days in release, about $10 million shy of early predictions.

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