Angel Has Fallen performed slightly above expectations this weekend with a Fri-Sun frame of $21.2 million. That’s just below London Has Fallen $21,635 million debut ($22.7 million adjusted for inflation) in March 2016 and well below Olympus Has Fallen’s $30 million debut in March 2013.
Since this is the this is the first time that the “Mike Banning saves America!” series has not opened at the same moment as a big animated feature (The Croods in 2013 and Zootopia in 2016), this is the first time that this series has topped the charts of the weekend box office.
In addition, this is Gerard Butler’s first chart-topping debut weekend for a live-action movie since he became “a star.” If you consider Zack Snyder’s film 300 $70 million debut in March 2007 (the third-biggest R-rated opening ever) as Butler’s “coming out” moment, then we should also note that since then he hasn’t had a No. 1 opener.
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To wit, Butler’s success of 300 resulted in the next big thing being raised as possible. However, his achievement in a blustered action movie resulted in a sequence of romantic comedies and romantic melodramas in an inverse scenario of Patrick Swayze. Hilary Swank’s P.S., I Love You hit it from a $6.4 million opening in December 2007 to $54 million domestic (and $156 million worldwide). Kathryn Heigl ‘s The Ugly Truth opened in July 2009 with $27 million and gained $205 million worldwide on a budget of $38 million.
That’s the third-biggest live-action opening weekend for Butler (we’re clearly not talking about the How to Train Your Dragon films for DreamWorks Animation) after 300.It also opened behind G-Force in third place ($31 million) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’s second weekend ($29 million). Jennifer Aniston’s The Bounty Hunter gained $136 million in early 2010 on a $40 million budget. Absent a bankable co-star (with all due regard to Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Teri Hatcher, Uma Thurman and Judy Greer), Playing For Keeps bombed in early 2012 with only $13 million domestic.