Ghost Rider Fires Up Box Office
Thumbing its nose at film critics, Ghost Rider blazed into more than 3,600 theaters over the four-day President's Day weekend and set a record for the holiday. The Nicolas Cage-starring film based on the Marvel comics superhero, which received overwhelmingly negative reviews on Friday, took in $51.5 million, well above the previous record for the holiday -- $45.1 million for 2004's 50 First Dates. Other new releases also performed strongly, especially Disney's Bridge to Terabithia, which placed second with $29 million over the four days. The Warner Bros. romantic comedy Music & Lyrics, which opened on Valentine's Day, scored with $16 million to bring its total for six days to $21.6 million. The opening of Lionsgate's Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls collected $14.3 million. The movie, which also bowed on Valentine's Day, has now earned $20 million. Universal's Breach, the best-reviewed movie of the lot, opened in sixth place with $12.3 million. Among holdovers, Norbit, starring Edie Murphy, held up well in its second week, slipping from first to third place with $20.7 million. "It has turned out to be a sensational weekend for the business, and that's fabulous news for everybody," Disney's distribution chief Chuck Viane told the Los Angeles Daily News. "When all kinds of movies are seen, that helps the entire business." Added Paul Dergarabedian of Media by Numbers: "Either by design or by accident, this was the perfect mix of films ... Each movie targeted a different audience, which allowed each to do well and culminated in this giant weekend."