The top four movies at the box office this weekend each took over $20 million, a feat accomplished only once before in Hollywood history -- Christmas 2008 -- and never before on a non-holiday weekend. And standing above that mountain of cash is biggest movie star in the world Channing Tatum, who will nevertheless never successfully outrun the modifier "former exotic dancer." Not that he'd want to.
1. The Vow (Screen Gems): $41.7 million in 2,958 theaters
A sappy love story about a husband who has to re-woo his wife after she loses her memory in a car accident has conquered the box office with a staggering take of well over $40 million. It's from director Michael Sucsy, the man responsible for HBO's excellent Grey Gardens, who wisely chose not to name the movie The Re-Woo. More accurate, yes, but clumsy to the ear.
2. Safe House (Universal): $39.3 million in 3,119 theaters
This is Denzel Washington's second-highest opening ever, behind American Gangster's $43.6 million, and third-biggest for Ryan Reynolds, whose only done better with superhero fare like The Green Lantern ($53 million) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($85 million). Audiences gave the spy/prison-break hybrid an A- CinemaScore, but professional critics whose job it is to hate things they don't have to pay for were decidedly more mixed.