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.
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.