‘Safe House’ Beats $40M; Weekend Breaks Another Box Office Record

Early estimates had Universal's action film “Safe House” grossing $39.3M at the box office. “The Vow” remains No. 1, but it's close

When actual numbers came in on Monday, Universal learned that "Safe House" took nearly $1 million more at the box office over the weekend than it had estimated: $40.17 million, rather than $39.3 million.

The studio attributed the difference to a better-than-expected Sunday. Figures from Rentrak show that the movie grossed $10.24 million on Sunday alone.

"Sunday business was much higher than any of the comps," Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution, told TheWrap Monday afternoon. "It goes to prove — nobody has a crystal ball."

"Safe House" is still the No. 2 movie in America, behind Sony's "The Vow," which according to Rentrak took $41.2 million, rather than the $41.7 million initially estimated.

Also read: In ‘Safe House,’ the Cars and the Guns Get the Best Lines

But with both pictures opening to more than $40 million, a new box-office record was set: It is the first time two movies have debuted to more than $40 million on any January or February weekend.

Rentrak's figures show that New Line's "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" grossed $27.33 million — slightly less than the $27.6 million originally estimated. Similarly, Fox's "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" actually grossed $22.5 million, rather than $23 million.

It was the first non-holiday weekend to have four movies open to more than $20 million.