The box office figures are in for Presidents' Day Weekend and it seems that the film industry in the United States is back on the ascendant. For the seventh week in a row now, a number of films - especially those in their opening weekends - have out-performed expectations. Yesterday (February 20, 2012) was a public holiday in the United States, in honour of George Washington's birthday, which will have contributed to increased attendance at the country's cinemas.

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds' action movie Safe House topped the box office charts for the weekend, grossing $28,400,000 in its second week of release. With a total income of $82,600,000, the movie is not far off breaking even with its $85 million budget. The romantic drama The Vow also performed well, despite mediocre reviews in the press. Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams headed up the cast list in this tearjerker which will no doubt have helped draw in the crowds and The Vow pulled in an estimated $26,600,000 meaning that its total income of $88,527,000 has exceeded its $30million budget by an impressive amount.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the weekend, though, was the Sony production Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, starring Nicolas Cage. The movie was slated by critics, prior to its release last week, yet still raked in over $25,000,000 on Presidents' Day Weekend. It was the fourth most popular film over the weekend, possibly helped by Nicolas Cage's high profile promotional appearances on David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon's chat shows recently. It's a long way off achieving its $57 million budget but has still managed to stun those that predicted a box office flop for the fantasy action movie.