The “Act of Valor,” Relativity’s action film starring actual Navy SEALs, made news this weekend after storming the Box Office, taking $24.7 million and helping North American sustain its lead over 2011.
It is Relativity Media’s third movie in 12 months to debut at No. 1.
“Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds” opened in second place, taking $16 million for Lionsgate, according to studio estimates.
While the overall box office was up about 23 percent compared to the same weekend in 2011, two new movies flopped: Universal’s “Wanderlust” took only $6.6 million and Summit’s “Gone” managed only $5 million.
A handful of holdovers, however, are still seeing strong numbers.
New Line’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” took $13.5 million in its third week of release — putting the family film in third place for the weekend.
This past weekend, “The Vow” crossed the $100 million mark, making it the first Screen Gems film to reach that milestone. “Safe House,” which has grossed $98.1 million so far, is likely to hit the mark this week.
Compared to last week’s four-day holiday weekend, when five movies broke the $20 million mark — three movies grossed more than $20 million from Friday to Sunday — this weekend does not look especially strong. Only “Act of Valor,” exceeded the $20 million mark.
But compared to this time last year, when “Hall Pass” debuted at No. 1 with $13.5 million, the weekend is looking pretty good.
Relativity’s official projections had “Act of Valor” taking $15 million-to-$17 million over the weekend. Less conservative box-office watchers outside the studio estimated the movie would take $23 million.
So $24.7 million is strong by any measure.
Relativity paid $13 million to acquire the movie, but by preselling international rights and making other deals, the company pushed its acquisition cost down to about $5.5 million. It pursued an aggressive — and expensive — marketing strategy that included four 30-second commercials during the Superbowl.
The R-rated movie was targeted to men, and men showed up: 71 percent of the audience was made up of males and 40 percent of the audience was made up of people younger than 25.