LOS ANGELES – Love triumphed over action at the weekend box office with a No. 1 debut for the romantic drama “The Vow.”

Studio estimates Sunday show that the love story starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum took in $41.7 million to come in ahead of two new action tales and the first 3-D “Star Wars” reissue.

Landing a close second with $39.3 million was Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds’ action thriller “Safe House.” Coming in solidly at No. 3 was Dwayne Johnson’s family action sequel “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with $27.6 million.

And adding to George Lucas’ riches was the 3-D premiere of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” which was No. 4 with $23 million.

This was the first non-holiday weekend that four movies opened with more than $20 million each, said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. The only other time when four new releases did that well was over Christmas weekend in 2008, he said.

Timed to Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, “The Vow” stars McAdams as a woman who awakens in the hospital after a car wreck with no memory of her husband (Tatum) and the last five years of her life.

‘Phantom’ stages its 10,000th performance

NEW YORK – “The Phantom of the Opera” has made musical history on Broadway.

The production celebrated its 10,000th performance Saturday in New York City’s storied theater district.

The New York Times reported that 2011 was the show’s highest-earning year. The newspaper said the show made a record $1.5 million in its best week last year, in December, and has made $845 million overall.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical opened on Broadway on Jan. 26, 1988.

It is an adaptation of the French novel by Gaston Leroux.

The historic performance at the Majestic Theatre included a giant cake and special curtain call.

Madonna’s stalker back in hospital

LOS ANGELES – Robert Dewey Hoskins, who served a 10-year prison sentence for stalking Madonna, was found and returned to a mental hospital a week after his escape from the facility, authorities said Friday.

Hoskins was arrested not far from the Norwalk, Calif., hospital he walked out of Feb. 3, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 54-year-old Hoskins “is a very psychotic man when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies,” police had said in a statement.

Hoskins in 1995 made repeated forays onto Madonna’s Hollywood Hills property and threatened to kill the pop star, her bodyguard and an assistant; he was convicted in 1996.

Following his release from prison, Hoskins was arrested last summer on vandalism charges and was placed in Metropolitan State Hospital, E! News reported.

— From news service reports


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