By Bill Wine
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Last week it was a tantalizingly close second. This week it's a photo-finish first.
It's Safe House, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds action thriller, which eked out a first-place finish in its second weekend of release by earning an estimated $24-million.
That put it ever-so-slightly ahead of the film that barely topped it last weekend, the romantic drama, The Vow, which totaled just under $24-million.
Finishing a strong third was one of the weekend's new attractions, the debuting sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, starring Nicolas Cage. It took in $22-million.
The weekend's two other new attractions also placed in the top ten.
This Means War, the romantic action comedy featuring Reese Witherspoon, was fifth with $18-million.
And the animated adventure, The Secret World of Arrietty, came in ninth with $6-million.
Overall, winter business remains brisk, with industry-wide totals about ten percent ahead of those on the counterpart weekend last year.
for more features.