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Bruce Willis’ latest adventure hits No. 1 with cold ‘Die Hard’ cash

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Weekend box office

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters (in millions):

1. A Good Day to Die Hard $25

2. Identity Thief $23.4

3. Safe Haven $21.4

4. Escape From Planet Earth $16.1

5. Warm Bodies $9

6. Beautiful Creatures $7.5

7. Side Effects $6.3

8. Silver Linings Playbook $6.1

9. Hansel & Gretel $3.5

10. Zero Dark Thirty $3.1

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Updated: March 19, 2013 6:40AM

‘A Good Day to Die Hard” picked a good day to debut.

Capitalizing on a dearth of romances at theaters, the fifth installment of Bruce Willis’ “Die Hard” series took the top spot at the box office over the weekend with $25 million, according to studio estimates.

Although the opening was on the low end of many analysts’ expectations, the film became the date movie of choice, beating out the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Identity Thief.”

While not exactly a couple’s retreat flick, “Die Hard” opened on Valentine’s Day and carried enough momentum into the weekend to escape the fate of other action films of late.

“Women love [Willis’ character] John McClane,” said “Die Hard” producer Wyck Godfrey. “It’s one action hero that sort of crosses genders. John McClane has always fought for his family. There’s an emotional connection that transcends being a male action star.”

“Safe Haven,” the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, took third place, followed by the 3-D animated film “Escape From Planet Earth,”

The only other major newcomer, the supernatural drama “Beautiful Creatures,” took the sixth spot with $7.5 million. Forecasters expected the movie, which also opened on Thursday, to do at least $15 million.

Gannett News Service

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