'Valentine's Day' warms box-office hearts with $52 million weekend

garner-kutcher-valentines-3.jpgMONDAY UPDATE: Four-day estimates for the long weekend have "Valentine's Day" earning $66.9 million, a record for the Presidents Day frame.

"Percy Jackson's" four-day take is an estimated $38.75 million, keeping it in front of "The Wolfman" ($36.5 million).

Overall, the weekend's slate of movies is expected to take in about $238 million, a record for the Presidents Day weekend.

Original post below.

"Valentine's Day" soared to the top of the box office, scoring the biggest Presidents Day weekend opening ever.

The movie, which probably also benefited from couples looking for a romantic movie on its namesake weekend, took in $52.4 million from Feb. 12-14, according to studio estimates. That's the biggest three-day opening ever on a Presidents Day weekend (four-day estimates will be out Monday), passing the $45.4 million "Ghost Rider" pulled in three years ago.

It's also the biggest opening ever for a Valentine's weekend romantic comedy. That mark was previously held by "50 First Dates," which earned $45.1 million in 2004.

The two other big releases for the weekend, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" and "The Wolfman," had pretty solid openings too. "Percy Jackson" grossed an estimated $31.1 million, and "The Wolfman" was right behind at $30.6 million.

"Avatar" dropped to fourth place, but fell off only 4 percent from last weekend, making an additional $22 million to push its otherworldly total take to just shy of $660 million. Last week's winner, "Dear John," dropped by half, earning $15.3 million and finishing fifth.

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Photo credit: New Line