According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was a Valentine's weekend to remember for Sony as the distributor had films in the top three spots at the boxoffice in North America -- a first for the distributor and a feat that is extremely rare in this business.
The last time a distributor had three films in the top three spots for any one weekend was 1989, when Universal had Parenthood, Sea of Love and Uncle Buck. Last year, the comparable calendar weekend at the boxoffice was the four-day Presidents Day holiday frame, which arrived a week earlier in 2004 and contained Valentine's Day.
So in striving for an apples-to-apples comparison, altogether, the total boxoffice for the 108 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter came to $119.9 million, up nearly 7% from the weekend before Presidents Day weekend in 2004. Leading the romantic charge at the boxoffice this weekend was the debut of Sony's Hitch. The PG-13 rated feature, starring Will Smith in his first leading role in a romantic comedy, warmed up to a hearty $43.1 million. It was the second-biggest opening ever for a romantic comedy, behind the distributor's 50 First Dates ($45.1 million), but that gross was gleaned during a four-day Presidents Day holiday weekend.