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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.

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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