'The Vow,' 'Safe House,' 'Journey 2,' 'The Phantom Menace': New Releases This Weekend

02/09/2012 04:27 pm ET | Updated Apr 10, 2012

The weekend before Valentine's Day means one thing: TONS of new releases. From romance ("The Vow") to action ("Safe House") to nostalgia ("The Phantom Menace"), all four quadrants will be served this weekend. Which film will emerge victorious? Let's investigate together!


What's the story: A happily married couple (Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum) have their world torn apart following a car accident that leaves the wife with severe memory loss, forcing the husband to try his hardest to win back her heart.

Box office projection: Sky's the limit on this one -- especially because it looks like a cross between "The Notebook" and "Dear John," this despite the fact that Nicholas Sparks isn't involved. "Between the ages of 12 and 16, girls don't go to a movie alone," said a Sony source to Vulture earlier on Thursday. "They bring seven of their friends, and if they like it at all, they go more than once. So when people mistake it for a Nicholas Sparks movie, all I can think is, 'Fuck, yeah!'" Tracking is off the charts here, McAdams and Tatum are romcom veterans, and the trailer features Taylor Swift. Expect bank. $39.2 million

What's the story: A young CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) operating a safe house in South Africa winds up going on the run with a rogue agent named Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington). Action, action and more action ensue.

Box office projection: Following a summer of disappointment with "Green Lantern" and "The Change-Up," Ryan Reynolds could use a sure thing. It's good, then, that he teamed up with Denzel Washington for "Safe House." Since 2000, only one wide-release Washington-led film failed to open with more than $20 million ("Deja Vu," which hit $16 million on opening weekend). Translation: expect "Safe House" to hit somewhere between $20 and $30 million, and for Reynolds to breath a sigh of relief. $25.1 million

What's the story: You loved it the first time (probably), then hated it: "The Phantom Menace," y'all! Now in 3D.

Box office projection: While there doesn't seem to be a lot of pent-up gottaseeit surrounding the re-release of "The Phantom Menace," it's still a "Star Wars" property and still in 3D. Fans -- even haters -- will want to see the film in its souped-up glory. That doesn't mean they still won't hate Jar Jar Binks, however. $17.5 million

What's the story: A sorta sequel, sorta reboot of "Journey to the Center of the Earth," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Josh Hutcherson star in "Journey 2," a 3D spectacle about finding the lost continent of Atlantis.

Box office projection: Despite 3D and The Rock, "Journey 2" feels like the weakest of this weekend's four new wide releases. That doesn't mean it'll be a washout -- and never underestimate the drawing power of The Rock -- but don't be surprised to see it finish in fourth place. $13.3 million


Woody Harrelson opens "Rampart" in five theaters, while the Oscar-nominated animated film "Chico & Rita" also gets released.