LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Veteran Hollywood action star Bruce Willis has demonstrated his winning power as his latest film "A Good Day to Die Hard" runs as the top grossing film in North America over the weekend, beating out three other debuting films and a holdover along its way to the top.
The R-rated action film, which is the fifth installment on the "Die Hard" action franchise, is on track to take in nearly 25 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales between Friday and Sunday, distributor 20th Century Fox said. Helmed by "Behind Enemy Lines" director John Moore, the actioner follows how John McClane ( reprised by Willis) was caught in the crossfire of a terrorist plot while traveling to Russia to help his estranged son (played by Jai Courtney).
An older male-skewing film which hit the screens at 3,553 theaters in the United States and Canada on Thursday, "A Good Day to Die Hard" received mostly negative reviews from movie critics. It only garnered 16 percent approval rating from among 154 reviews, according to reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. However, moviegoers who have seen it liked it, assigning it a "B+" CinemaScore rating.
"Identity Thief," the Universal's R-rated comedy featuring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, saw its revenues dropped 32 percent, and ended the weekend with 23.4 million dollars, placing in No. 2. It is on track to gross 70.7 million dollars over two weeks.
Another trio of new films also made their marks on the box office derby, placing within the top 10 most popular films.
"Safe Haven,"a romantic drama starring Josh Duhamel and Juliette Hough, debuted in No. 3 at 21.5 million dollars. The Relativity Media's PG-13 adaptation of Nicholas Sparks's novel of the same name was not well received by critics, as it only received 13 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is a female-skewing film, as female made up 71 percent of its audiences, while 68 percent was under 25 years of age. It also received a "B+ " rating on CinemaScore.
Debuting in No. 4 is the 3-D computer-animated film "Escape From Planet Earth," which is estimated to roll up 16 million dollars during the weekend. The Weinstein Co.'s flick features voices by actors including Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Rounding out the top 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "Warm Bodies" (USD9 million), "Beautiful Creatures" (debuting at 7.5 million), "Side Effects" (6.3 million), "Silver Linings Playbook" (6 million), "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" (3.5 million), and "Zero Dark Thirty" (3.1 million).